News, On Campus

A Sight for Sore Eyes: Vision Van Returns to BC’s Campus

On certain days of the school year, students walking across Boston College’s Lower Campus confront a peculiarity parked directly across from Robsham Theater—a bus with a massive pair of eyebrows and wheels for eyes. 

The bus is officially known as the Vision Van, according to Jack Burke, director of benefits at BC, and made its first appearance of the year this past Monday at its traditional spot on Campanella Way.

“I’ve definitely seen it around,” said Evy Knouse, MCAS ’24. “I live in 90 and I see it at least two times a day—I have no idea what it’s for and it’s honestly pretty creepy. If you look at the wheels, it looks like there are eyes built in.”

The Vision Van offers faculty and staff on-site optometry appointments, Burke said in an email to The Heights. The van is operated by a Boston-based mobile optometry company called 2020 On-site. 

“[The Vision Van] delivers independent optometrists in state-of-the-art mobile vision centers to provide comprehensive eye exams using the latest technology,” Burke wrote.

The company originally launched in Boston in August of 2014 with the hopes of offering customers both convenience and value through a mobile vision bus, according to its website. Since its creation, 2020 On-site has expanded outside the Boston area to Chicago and Atlanta, with plans of further expanding across the country.

With over 450 companies using our service, we’ve realized there is a better way to deliver healthcare services, and no one should have to compromise their vision because of inconvenience and lack of time,” the site reads.

Human Resources provides this service to BC’s faculty and staff on a semester- by- semester basis. The van is scheduled to visit all three of BC’s campuses—Chestnut Hill, Brighton, and Newton—over a span of one to three days per semester, depending on its popularity, Burke said. 

To sign up for an appointment, faculty members fill out an online booking form sent out by the Boston College Benefits Office prior to appointment dates, according to Burke. The maximum number of appointments per day is 27, and walk-ins are generally not accepted unless there are open slots. 

2020 On-site offers a variety of benefits to faculty and staff: it has over 300 eyeglass frames on board, accepts a variety of insurances, conducts free HD retinal imagery—which has a $40 to $80 value—and offers contact lens renewals for those who already wear them, Burke said.

Aside from vision insurance, BC provides benefits-eligible faculty and staff with a comprehensive benefits program including medical, dental, life, and disability insurance, retirement plan options, and tuition remission, Burke said. 

Featured Image by Nicole Vagra / Heights Staff

October 26, 2021