Strange signs draw students’ attention

By Cara Donfrio

The Huskie Line buses have a busy life – starting early and finally coming to rest in the wee hours of the morning.

Every day, students pack these buses to get to their classes, apartments and favorite places to hang out.

Through the years, some students have noticed the extra personality of the transportation that they count on. When the Huskie buses are not rushing students back and forth, their signs may read “Lost but Happy.”

This sign may seem like it has some profound significance, but John Roach, Huskie Line safety and training coordinator, said otherwise.

“The sign was ordered by our former charter manager,” he said. “He just wanted to get the signs out as soon as possible, so there’s no real meaning behind it.”

Former charter manager Jack Kozumplik also used to work with Huskie Line as a driver and a street route supervisor. Kozumplik agreed that the sign was not in any way profound, but he did have a story behind it.

“That sign was created by us crazy charter people out in the middle of nowhere,” he said, laughing.

Kozumplik said the signs were his idea, and that they originally were used in Chicago.

“McCormick Place had trade shows,” he said. “We used to bus people along Michigan Avenue from the shows to their hotels and from their hotels to the shows. The ‘Lost but Happy’ signs were on the buses and people got a big kick out of them.”

Kozumplik added that the signs were such a big hit that they were written about in the Chicago Tribune.

He also said that in addition to that phrase, there were signs for Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park on the buses. This was appropriate for Chicago charter buses, but didn’t make much sense in DeKalb. By mistake, however, the signs ended up on the student buses, and the transportation board was not happy about it.

“They didn’t want all the little signs,” Kozumplik said. “They just wanted the route number.”

Roach said that Kozumplik told the Huskie Line not to use the signs, but the instruction hasn’t been well observed.

As far as the buses being out of service, Roach said this can happen for a couple of reasons.

“Usually it’s just the route discontinuing for the day,” he said.

Though some of the buses run into the late hours of the night, others end their daily runs between 1 and 3 p.m. After this time, the familiar “Out of Service” sign goes up.

Roach added that the signs also go up when new drivers are training.

As to the fate of the “Lost but Happy” sign, Roach said that it has existed on the Huskie Line buses since 1990 or 1991and it’s not leaving anytime soon.

“To take them off is pretty costly,” he said.

Right now, there are no plans to remove or change the saying that has caught students’ attention.

It looks like the buses are going to be lost but happy for some time.