As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a serious global concern, public transportation services have had to adapt and implement necessary safety precautions. In the Bloomington Transit October board meeting, Oct. 20, the board reviewed COVID-19 regulation recommendations through Nov. 17.
The local transportation service, Bloomington Transit, will be reducing campus bus schedules earlier and extending them further into 2021 during the 2020-21 intercession period because IU students will be away from campus for a longer amount of time.
Routine cleaning and disinfecting of the buses, transit centers and employee areas has been a staple of BT’s efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Additionally, BT has closed down its Downtown Transit Center and the Grimes Lane waiting areas to the public.
“We have acquired electrostatic sprayers that we use to spray buses with disinfectant twice a day,” Lew May, Bloomington Transit’s general manager, said.
BT has also been actively involved in protecting its customers and community by handing out more than 16,000 cloth and disposable masks, May said. He also said BT is carrying only 23% of its normal passengers, 70% of which are usually IU students.
BT will continue to offer its service for free and keep following its current COVID-19 protocols for the safety of passengers and drivers. These protocols will be reevaluated on a monthly basis.
IU freshman Riley Axsiom takes the campus bus at least twice a week.
“Ninety percent of the time I feel safe riding it, but it is tricky when there are a lot of people at one time,” Axsiom said.
Campus buses will continue to limit passengers to 30 at a time and follow strict cleaning procedures, said IU Campus Bus Service director Brian Noojin.
The public service employees and drivers ask that passengers continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask, Noojin said.
“We are doing our best to get through this together as a team,” Noojin said. ”If you ride the bus, please thank a driver, it means a lot to us.”