COVID-19 Updates: Shuttle-UM

Published July 22, 2020

Shuttle-UM service resumes the Fall 2020 semester on Monday, August 24. We're looking forward to welcoming you aboard! In preparation for our service resumption, we have taken many steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus for our passengers and drivers:

If you have a concerns or observe a bus that needs attention, we urge you to contact us at 301-314-3687 (DOTS).

Shuttle-UM

    We have implemented new procedures and requirements for the health of all those aboard Shuttle-UM:

    • Passengers and drivers must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth while on board. 
       
    • Enter and exit the bus through the rear door only. University ID checks have been suspended until further notice.  Only passengers who require the use of the lift/ramp or securement in the ADA accessible areas can board through the front door. The driver will wear gloves and a full face shield over and cloth face covering when assisting passengers with securements and front door boarding.  
       
    • Whenever possible, practice physical distancing on the bus. 
       
    • Stay behind the barrier at the front of the bus that separates the driver compartment from passenger seating.
       
    • Please direct your questions to customer service at 301-314-3687 (DOTS), rather than the driver. While our drivers enjoy interacting with passengers, this important measure limits exposure between those on board and facilitates physical distancing. 
       
    • Stay home if you feel sick.

    PHYSICAL DISTANCING ACCOMMODATIONS

    Bus operators may bypass bus stops if the vehicle cannot safely accommodate additional passengers while allowing for physical distancing. In these instances, the head signs will say “Bus Full.” Buses will stop only to allow those on board to exit.

    NITE Ride’s service capacity will temporarily be limited to one passenger or one party per trip. This means that, once NITE Ride picks up you and other members of your party, you will go directly to your requested destination. The driver will not stop to pick up other passengers.

    Schedule and Route Modifications

    Some of our routes will pause during off-peak hours and/or run on an abbreviated schedule. These modifications allow for increased cleaning and limit the number of drivers using a single vehicle. Our Fall 2020 schedules will be posted by early August.

    NITE Ride will stop at any location within the full NITE Ride service area between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. The service area will no longer be restricted to select locations from 5:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

    The paratransit service area has also expanded, now serving locations along existing Shuttle-UM routes. Paratransit passengers who use a wheelchair or scooter and live within the Shuttle-UM service area may now schedule paratransit trips to campus instead of taking our transit buses. Pick-up and drop-off locations must be within the Shuttle-UM service area, not to exceed a 10-mile radius from campus. More details. 

    We are contracting a vendor to provide a daily, enhanced interior cleaning of all Shuttle-UM passenger vehicles, including our transit buses, vans and SUVs. The vendor follows the CDC’s guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting non-emergency transport vehicles, and only uses products that appear on the CDC’s list of disinfectants for use against COVID-19. We have also implemented standard best practices in ventilation on our buses.

    Barriers will separate drivers from passengers. A chain will block off the driver compartment from transit buses where rear door boarding only is required.  For vehicles that do not allow for rear door boarding, the driver compartment will be equipped with a clear protective barrier.

    Am I required to wear a face covering while riding Shuttle-UM?
    Yes. Everyone aboard Shuttle-UM must wear a face covering. It should cover your nose and mouth. 

    Have there been any modifications to Shuttle-UM schedules routes?
    Yes. Our routes will operate on modified schedules to limit the number of drivers using a single vehicle and to allow for increased cleaning. Fall 2020 Routes will be posted by early August.

    Has DOTS made any changes to their Shuttle-UM cleaning practices?
    Yes. We are contracting a vendor to provide a daily, enhanced interior cleaning of all Shuttle-UM passenger vehicles, including our transit buses, vans and SUVs. See more about our equipment and cleaning enhancements.

    What should riders do if they have concerns or observe a bus that needs attention?
    If you have a concerns or observe a bus that needs attention, we urge you to contact us at 301-314-3687 (DOTS)

    Do you have signs in buses about preventing the spread of coronavirus at UMD?
    Yes, posters are located in all of our buses reminding passengers of how to prevent the spread of infection, including wearing a face covering, frequent hand washing, maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet, and staying home if you feel sick. 

    What precautions will DOTS take to protect drivers from infection?
    Our precautions that apply to passenger health, such as rear door boarding, enhanced cleaning, and the barrier between the driver and passengers, also protect our drivers. DOTS has made additional precautions for our drivers:

    • We have provided drivers with face coverings, which they are required to wear while driving and any other time they are in the company of others.
       
    • All drivers have received training, approved through the university’s Department of Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk, for preventing the spread of coronavirus.
       
    • Shuttle-UM internal operations have been adjusted to limit the number of drivers using a single vehicle and allow for physical distancing in shared break spaces.
       
    • Shuttle-UM headquarters will see increased cleaning, the installation of disinfecting stations and protective covering stations (wipes, gloves, face coverings, etc.), and new policies and procedures on self-cleaning of personal areas and items.