Campus shuttle offers limited service during pandemic
The on-campus Cougar Line Shuttle service will continue operations during the fall semester with limited services and new safety protocols.
Shuttle services are limited to two routes with one vehicle in operation for each. One shuttle runs the circulator route around the University’s main campus and technology bridge, while a second shuttle runs the Sugar Land route between the Student Center and the George Building at UH at Sugar Land.
“We are currently operating two shuttles during the day and one late night van. Both large shuttles operate from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Cougar Ride service operates from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday,” said Parking and Transportation Services executive director Neil Hart.
Parking and Transportation shuttle provider Groome Transportation has implemented precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on their shuttles in alignment guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Employees are responsible for performing a COVID-19 self-check prior to each shift and are required to stay home if they display coronavirus symptoms. Passengers are recommended not to travel if they have a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus.
All drivers and passengers have to wear a mask at all times while inside the shuttle. Shuttles are equipped with extra disposable masks for students that don’t have one.
Passengers are required to enter and exit through the shuttle’s rear doors only. To maintain social distancing, certain seats within the shuttle will be blocked off and a shuttle will only be filled to 50 percent capacity.
Drivers are disinfecting high-touch areas of the shuttle numerous times throughout the day and shuttles are cleaned and sanitized with electrostatic sprayers at the end of each shift.
For some students, the shuttle is a vital transportation that they plan to continue using during the pandemic.
“I think we should definitely wear masks and keep the services limited, but they are necessary since some people need them to get to a different place on campus,” nutritional science junior Janu Bhakta said.
For other students, the shuttle is a last resort that raises concerns about exposure to the virus.
“I would use it only if the driver and other passengers wore a mask and sanitized. I wouldn’t feel completely at ease, but I prefer being escorted rather than feeling unprotected,” management information systems junior Grace To said.
“I think students would still use it as some people still use the shuttle and Metro for their commute, but would definitely need to go social distance and wear their masks.
For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.