After the February arrest of former Bill’s Bus co-owner Tim Mesplou for driving under the influence of alcohol, the bus service, which provides Isla Vista residents a sober ride home from the downtown bars, is now back in the control of the original owner.
Bill Singer – who founded the business 11 years ago with the intention of preventing I.V. residents from driving home drunk – became partners with Mesplou in January 2000. Mesplou ran the bus until his recent drunk driving arrest.
“Tim and I had been friends for a very long time,” Singer said. “I thought he was trustworthy.”
Singer said he thinks the bus system was getting out of control under Mesplou’s supervision.
“We were having disagreements with stuff, and I wasn’t comfortable with the way things were going. There were people drinking on the bus – it’s just not allowed,” he said. “People were throwing bottles out of the windows – it’s a liability.”
Currently, Singer and a hired Metropolitan Transit District driver are driving the buses. Singer said they recently acquired three newer buses, and he hopes that will alleviate the overcrowding problem.
“My concern with the bus – it doesn’t seem like things are the same,” he said. “The bus is gonna be safe. I’m the guy who started the bus, and I’m back.”
Bill’s Bus service runs every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and picks up every hour starting at 8:30 p.m. across the street from Woodstock’s Pizza Parlor on Embarcadero Del Norte. The return service is in front of the Blue Agave on Cota Street. It leaves downtown every hour starting at 9:00 p.m. The service costs $6.