'Everybody Knows Joe': Beloved Van Driver Says Goodbye to the Shuttle

He sees them all: Quadlings working late, professors who don't drive and graduate students from the farthest reaches of Inman Square.

If they take the late-night shuttle, they're probably friends of Joe.

Jose A. Andrade, known universally as Joe, is the only full-time driver for the evening shuttle van. That means he sees half of the students who call the van every night (a series of part-time drivers share another van).

"If you take the shuttle, chances are you're going to see Joe," he says. "Everybody knows Joe. I cheer them up, I communicate with them, just like I'm communicating with you now."

For almost two years, Andrade has charmed his passengers with his friendly manner and constant willingness to talk.

But he plans to step down from the shuttle van on April 1 to take a daytime job in the stockroom of University Operations Services.

Andrade says his new position will be easier on his family, especially his two daughters, ages three and 20 months. The late-night conversations will be difficult to replace, though.

"I have some very nice friends here," he says. "I will miss the contact with all the students I've had--that's 100 percent."