Shuttle Safety 101: Utilizing the Shuttle During Social Distancing


Elle Love

New safety measures are in place as UNO Shuttle Services prepares to serve students this school year. Illustration by Mars Nevada/The Gateway

For UNO students, taking advantage of the shuttle services is a convenient way to get to and from class and to travel around campus. However, in the wake of COVID-19, the demand for public transportation has lowered significantly due to fears of contracting and spreading the virus.

In 2020, 57% of respondents in the U.S. stated that they would much less likely use public transport if their community would be COVID-19 infected, according to the Statista Research Department.

To accommodate student needs amidst the pandemic, UNO Shuttle Services will continue to operate routes with limited shuttles. According to a press release from June 29, the available routes will be the Scott Resident (Orange) route, ADA-VIP route and the Newman Center (Pink) route. Shuttles will follow safety guidelines and social distancing measures.

Social distancing requirements for all students when utilizing Shuttle Services for this year are:

  • Face coverings will be required for the riders on the shuttles. The shuttles are an extension of the UNO campus, so the Interim Face Covering Policy will be enforced.
  • There will be physically distanced seating, and therefore the number of available seats for each shuttle will be limited.
  • People waiting in line for the shuttle must maintain 6 feet physical distancing.
  • The shuttles will go offline for approximately 15 minutes once an hour for cleaning and disinfecting.

UNO Public Safety officer Rachael Jensen said drivers will be wearing masks and cleaning the shuttles when scheduled to go offline approximately every hour.

“The shuttle vendor will be using a disinfectant fogger each day prior to beginning the routes,” Jensen said. “Cleaning procedures being followed align with recommendations and best practices from the CDC.”

It is important for students to maintain social distancing measures not only in public transportation but in other areas on campus as well.

“For the health and safety of our Maverick community, we advise following a number of basic, but important steps that can be taken to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing a face covering, being mindful of physical distancing and washing hands and/or using hand sanitizer frequently,” Jensen said.

Jensen said students should continue to stay physically distanced at least 6 feet if possible, whether you are waiting in line, on shuttles themselves or when you board or exit the shuttle.

“In addition to wearing a mask, self-monitor for signs and/or symptoms of COVID-19 before using the shuttles each day through the use of the self-screening tool 1-Check COVID app, as well as practice good hand hygiene and social distancing,” Jensen said.

It’s also important to stay up to date with local transit authorities like the UNO Shuttle Services for the latest information on changes to services and procedures, according to the CDC website.

“Shuttle routes will be constantly monitored and reassessed for campus needs,” Jensen said. “We will also be able to use the shuttle app for communication purposes and shuttle news.”