Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
November 28, 2023

The escort van service shifted focus this year as it adopted a new name, repainted its fleet of vans and switched from a taxi service to a route system.

The new service is known as the Blue Jay Shuttle and operates daily in brightly colored vans.

The major non-cosmetic switch comes in the difference to the pick-up system.

Instead of calling a van for pick up, as it has been in previous years, students now wait for the shuttle at designated stops dotted around the campus — essentially switching from taxi pick-ups to a bus route.

"The SGA conducted a survey last fall regarding the escort van," Greg Smith, Head of the Blue Jay Shuttle division at the Office Facilities Management, said.

 "A lot of feedback concerning students not using the service [suggested it was] due to wait time and not knowing when the van would show up.

"Most responses suggested a fixed route system like the JHMI would be desirable."

Save for aesthetics, there have been few practical changes to the vans.

Eight vans follow the route daily.

A few others have not been redecorated and serve as backups.

The vans leave Mason Hall at 5:45 p.m. every evening and every 30 minutes thereafter until 10:45 p.m.

All Johns Hopkins affiliates can hail the vans at stops around campus and check when the next one is due at

Those without smartphones can call or text 410-834-2833 to find out when the next van is coming.

Passengers must be at a marked "flag" stop and display a J-Card to hail a van.

After 11:15 p.m., the vans revert to point-to-point service when called at 410-516-8700; the same number listed on every J-Card.

The new Blue Jay Shuttle has received positive reviews by some members of the Hopkins community.

"I like that the Blue jay Shuttle is punctual. It left on time, and it arrived back at Mason Hall on time, making my trip easy to plan," freshman Aurora Jin said.

Junior Pujan Dave found the new shuttle system relatively simple to use too.

"I have taken it and personally find that that it was pretty easy to understand after I went through the process myself," Dave said.

To facilitate the shuttle system's use, the university has made information regarding the shuttle system's functions available online at

"I would encourage everyone to check it out, grab a map, and figure out what stops you live by and what routes you can take," Smith said.

"What we've found is that who have ridden it, get it and appreciate it. I would say just try it out."

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