Members of Texas Tech have made changes regarding parking and transportation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brandon Richard, media relations manager for Transportation and Parking Services, said faculty and staff are still working on campus, so R-lots — those containing spaces for faculty and staff — are being monitored. Other areas are open to the public, even if one does not have a parking pass.
“Students – anyone can park in the commuter areas and the residence lots right now,” he said.
Many students have traveled off campus due to COVID-19 concerns and may no longer have use for their parking passes.
Neil Kilcrease, assistant managing director for TPS, said members of Tech have not yet decided whether parking passes will be refunded.
“So, we know that the refunds is an important issue,” he said. “We’re continuing to explore options to address these concerns, and we’ll share that information in the near future.”
The availability of services also changed, a decision Kilcrease said will be reassessed.
“We are now suspending all transportation through April 5,” he said.
Routes will follow the summer schedule once transportation begins again, Kilcrease said.
“When we do start up transportation, it’ll be on like, a summer schedule,” he said. “So, I have three buses on the Red Raider, three buses on the Double T. Masked Rider will not run; the Red Raider route will — I’ll alter that route just a little bit to pick up at West Village, and then I’ll have one bus on each apartment route.”
Kilcrease said parking passes will still be available for students to purchase for the fall semester, although permits are not yet for sale.
“We have the online options available, and our office is open from 8a.m. – 5p.m. right now,” he said.
Chris Mandrell, general manager for Citibus, said Citibus is considered an essential service and has been continuing routes to the Student Union Building on campus. As an essential service, it will operate until City of Lubbock officials decide otherwise.
“We’re running about 23 buses at peak service,” he said, “and our Route 5 and 19 serve the SUB still, so our – the two routes that we’ve always had coming on campus are still coming on campus and picking up and dropping off at the SUB.”
Buses are cleaned nightly, and Mandrell said areas that are frequently touched are paid special attention; drivers also have antiviral spray on hand for touchups throughout their shifts. In addition, Mandrell said Citibus is working with a company that uses a chlorine-bleach mixture as well as an electrostatic spray to thoroughly clean the bus.
“They’re coming and wiping all the touch points they can,” he said, “and then they’re spraying the electrostatic spray to really disinfect the bus.”
Buses have postings to encourage passengers to practice social distancing, and Mandrell said there should be at least one seat separating each passenger.
Citibus officials do not test drivers for fevers before they begin their routes, but Mandrell said employee well-being is monitored and that officials will adapt to the situation as necessary, meaning they may implement new procedures later.
“We are tracking all of our employees that either were out on leave, or where they’re going and that kind of thing,” he said, “just to make sure that they’re not going to hot spots or, you know, those that could potentially be some sort of potential issue.”