University of Nebraska-Lincoln is bringing in additional buses to accommodate riders and to comply with social distancing measures as in-person instruction began this week.
The University Parking and Transit Services contracted with Arrow Stage Lines to add buses to the City Campus/East Campus routes.
Arrow Stage Lines will transport students while adhering to COVID-19 safety requirements. Arrow Stage Lines The Omaha-based operator was prepared when UNL needed some creative options to meet its social distancing requirement, Jeffrey Howes, Arrow’s Chief Operating Officer, told Bus & Motorcoach News.
‘Ready to Ride’
“We have developed our cleaning program to keep people safe during these times. We call it our ‘Ready to Ride’ program. Then, we worked with Sardo (Bus & Coach Upholstery) to create barriers and ‘Do Not Sit’ seat belt sashes for all of the vehicles. This allowed us to meet the requirements for social distancing while still providing world-class transportation to their students,” Howes said.
He added that this solution can be applied to campuses across the country.
“I absolutely feel this is an opportunity for all motorcoach operators to reach out to university procurement departments in their market and find out how they can help with social distancing and COVID-19 mitigation,” Howes said.
The Arrow buses will follow vehicles from StarTran Bus Service on Routes 24 and 25, and after the first bus is filled to capacity, additional riders will immediately board the available trailing bus, according to Nebraska Today, the university’s publication.
Both the StarTran and Arrow buses will have decreased capacity, with StarTran limiting the number to 15 riders per bus, and Arrow allowing 27.
“Arrow will only be allowing the use of window seats to keep the 6 feet of distance,” Dan Carpenter, director of Parking and Transit Services, told Nebraska Today. “They’ve also installed barriers between the seats to up protection, and they’re requiring masks.”
Follow safety procedures
The university announced hand sanitizer dispensers will be available on the vehicles and vehicle surfaces will be regularly cleaned.
University students also can use the after-hours on-call van transportation service at no cost.
The service provides rides between designated campus bus stops after the end of daily bus route schedules.
To minimize prolonged contact at this time, no app, pass or fee is required to ride the bus or van.
Students and staff who use the bus and van services are being asked to follow campus COVID-19 safety procedures, including wearing facial coverings when in the vehicles.