Heroes moving heroes

In spite of the underpopulated campus, void of students and with much fewer staff, campus shuttles continue to circulate, transporting our valiant healthcare workers to and from work each day. Like other transit employees, campus shuttle drivers are essential workers, meaning the transportation service they provide is vital to the university community.  And while you can’t tell, beneath their masks, they are smiling. They are happy to do their part in supporting campus during this time of uncertainty.

Despite facing risks associated with COVID-19, campus shuttle drivers work diligently to provide transportation for those who need it most right now—our brave healthcare workers. These individuals depend on the campus transit system to commute to hospitals, clinics, UTA transit stations, parking lots, Research Park and other locations within the health sciences area.

Campus shuttles transport more than 2,800 healthcare workers each week, traveling to and from work. With high-volume ridership each day, it is crucial to implement safety measures to protect both our drivers and our passengers. Our shuttle drivers wear masks at all times and  encourage passengers to use the hand sanitizer provided upon entry and exit. Furthermore, all transit vehicles are thoroughly sanitized each night. Commonly touched areas like handrails and seats are sanitized multiple times a day.

Many campus shuttle services and routes have been recently modified to accommodate healthcare employee needs. To avoid overly crowded shuttles, the Wasatch Express Route that transports the largest number of healthcare workers has increased its frequency during the peak hours of 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The new and temporary Shoreline-U Hospital Route mainly transports healthcare workers who park in the Shoreline Garage for free. The route stops at the TRAX Medical Station, University Hospital and the Clinical Neurosciences Building

The Hospital On-Demand shuttle, which was temporarily not in service, is officially back on the road Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. This on-demand service picks up and drops off passengers to specific locations on campus, like the University Hospital, Diabetes Clinic, Neuropsychological Institute, TRAX Medical Station, Research Park and more. Passengers must visit uofubus.com to request a Hospital On-Demand ride.

SafeRide is a campus rideshare program for students who do not feel safe walking to a location on campus at night. Since the majority of students are no longer on campus, healthcare employees are invited to use SafeRide to get any location on campus, Monday through Friday, from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Passengers must download the TapRide app, available in the App Store and Google Play to request a SafeRide.

As the university transitions through the COVID-19 phases, the campus shuttles will follow in suit. Routes currently not in service, like the Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Purple and Guardsman Direct will soon return. Our shuttle drivers are ready and eager to serve all students, faculty and staff once again.

Visit the Commuter Services’ COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates on campus shuttles and other transportation options.