Bill’s Bus, the popular method of transport for Isla Vista bar-goers and rite of passage for many UCSB students, will soon compete against a new bus service. Currently, students wait at the Embarcadero Road pickup to board Bill’s Bus which ferries them to and from the downtown bar scene. As of Thursday, April 22, the launch date for the new bus line, Isla Vista residents will have the option to choose between Bill’s Bus and the Gaucho Loco Line.
Brad Hansen, founder of the Gaucho Loco Line and a former UCSB student, aims to bring the old ways of Bill’s Bus back to Isla Vista residents. Bill’s Bus was started in 1991 by William Singer as a way to prevent drunk driving. Singer ran the line successfully for 11 years, however in 2002 due to lack of funds, he had to suspend the route, and in 2004 he sold the route to Craig Jenkins. Jenkins, who also owns Velvet Jones nightclub, has run the operation since 2004.
Although many stand behind the tradition and originality of Bill’s Bus, many students are reportedly tempted to try the new Gaucho line. The new line, which will stop on the corner of Embarcadero del Mar and Pardall Roads, offers various services that Bill’s Bus does not: The new line provides an escort service for female party-goers to ensure that they reach their destination safely. The new line also aims to end the fearful possibility of vomiting that is known to frequently occur on the Bill’s Bus line. Hansen hopes to accomplish this ambitious goal by preventing students who are overly intoxicated from boarding the bus. While the bus lines that take students downtown give them a way to drink to excess and still get home safely, the Gaucho Loco Line sets a limit, hoping to give those on the bus a more enjoyable ride, said Hansen.