The UCCS shuttles are making their rounds this semester with some new features: shower curtains, open roof tops and eight passengers per ride. But the new process was not clear cut at the start of the school year. UCCS Transportation Services endured a few bumps in the road when creating a new route for COVID-19 prevention.
There were two separate bus routes at the beginning of the year, which were not connected to each other. Now, the shuttle transportation is returning to their original one-route system.
According to the Parking and Transportation website, “Effective Wednesday, September 9th, shuttle bus service to Lot 540 will resume. The new route on the west side of campus will stop at Eagle Rock (near the Hybl building), Lot 540, Alpine Garage, the Lodge, and Centennial Hall. On the east side of campus the bus stops at University Hall, Lot 103, and Centennial Hall. There is no service at lot 580 at this time.”
Jim Spice, executive director of Parking and Transportation, provided insight on decisions made to keep all passengers safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We didn’t know how many people would ride [the shuttles],” Spice said. “There were still questions about how many classes would be held physically on campus. We had to take in consideration that we didn’t want to overcrowd the shuttles.”
The El Paso County Public Health Department had a few tips for transportation on campus, prompting transportation services to limit exposure and cutting the time passengers spend on the bus to five minutes. “By us keeping the old route it would [have been] 15 minutes long, so we broke the transportation into two routes. East and West,” Spice said. “Next Monday will be another adjustment for Lot 540. It looks almost the same as last year but shorter.”
Last year, students were able to access schedules that gave expected times for when the shuttles would arrive. So far, that has also changed. “There have been some bus drivers who have left, and we are hesitant to give out a set timed route schedule because things change, so we just say there is an expected arrival every 10-15 minutes,” Spice said.
According to Parking and Transportation Services COVID-19 rules and regulations, masks are required on the shuttles, and it is preferred that people sit a row apart from each other. Shower curtains are installed between the drivers and passengers to keep the exposure to a minimum, and when the weather allows, the roof tops will remain open to properly ventilate the shuttles.
To access further information about the shuttle routes and procedures, see the Parking and Transportation home page at https://pts.uccs.edu/campus-shuttle. For any comments or concerns, email UCCS Transportation at [email protected].