The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's new director of the Office of Transportation Services, Cheri Soileau, will be using social media to help students navigate the campus.
The Office of Transportation Services, formerly known as the Office of Parking and Transit, has established two new Twitter hashtags — #GeauxPark and #GeauxBus — to share information. It will also be using its Facebook page.
"Students already have a lot on their plates. The last thing they — or our visitors — should have to worry about is where to park," said Soileau, who began working at the University July 22. The name of the Office of Parking and Transit was changed to the Office of Transportation Services this week.
Soileau previously worked in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area as a senior transit planner for the Denton County Transportation Authority. She was responsible for planning and scheduling bus routes, including nine university shuttles for the University of North Texas, and a commuter rail line that served about three million customers each year.
She also has experience in light rail service. While working for Dallas Area Rapid Transit, she was project manager for an engineering and environmental assessment phase of a light rail extension project. Soileau has also worked as a consultant.
"Transportation can improve the quality of our lives," she said.
In the 1990s, while working as a transportation planner in Plano, Texas, near Dallas, Soileau saw first-hand how important transportation can be. "I often worked with customers who were disabled, trying to give them the best service possible. I think transportation is something we can easily take for granted, but for those with limitations, transportation can mean a great deal more freedom. When you don't have to plan your day around its availability, that makes life a lot easier."
Soileau, a native of Missouri, holds a bachelor's degree in history from Drake University in Des Moines. She earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.