It wouldn’t be a normal night for Benny Thomas Blevins, the BTB party bus driver, if intoxicated students weren’t falling off of the bus steps or using the luggage carrier pole as a stripper pole.
Blevins, known as Benny by most students (and yes, his initials spell the name of the company he works for), has seen his fair share of bizarre moments during his nightly routine.
One night Benny said he’s not soon to forget was when he picked up a male student and his girlfriend after a night out at Studio 4.
Benny said he noticed the male student shrug down his pants, but he thought the student was getting comfortable for the ride. Then Benny noticed that the student’s girlfriend had her skirt pulled all the way up to her waist.
“She was doing a lot of bouncing all the way back,” he said. “He asked me, ‘How much do I owe you,’ and I told him that the ride is only $2 a head, but that motel fees are $50 at least.”
Benny said the student gave him $50, which he accepted only because he was offering it.
But Benny has had to deal with other customers who weren’t so generous. One night after picking up a group that exceeded the bus’s capacity, he had to physically remove a large, intoxicated male customer. After the student refused to leave and bet Benny $20 that he couldn’t get him off the bus, Benny knew it was time to take action.
“He lost,” Benny said. “I didn’t hurt him or anything. I just walked down the bus and grabbed him by the collar bone and dropped him off.”
As a former celebrity bodyguard, Benny knows how to take care of what he refers to as “bad apples.” But in general, he appreciates his student clientele.
“I love them, they’re great,” he said. “They’re all pretty courteous. I never really have a hard time with anybody because most of them know me.”
Benny said he finds driving the party bus peaceful after working as an Ann Arbor cab driver for 20 years. He said many of the students who ride the bus are customers of his from his days as a cab driver.
“If it weren’t for my customers we probably wouldn’t have ever started out this bus,” he said.