Keeping Campus Transit Rolling, Safely

Duke buses undergo deep cleaning, require physical distancing measures

Duke is following a protocol ranging from a three-step disinfectant process to physical distancing aboard all 25 buses and other transit vehicles.
Duke is following a protocol ranging from a three-step disinfectant process to physical distancing aboard all 25 buses and other transit vehicles.

Duke is instituting health and safety measures on all campus buses to protect operators and passengers from COVID-19 infection.

In preparing buses for the return of students, staff and faculty for the fall semester, crews in Parking & Transportation Services have followed a protocol since May ranging from a three-step disinfectant process to requiring physical distancing aboard all 25 buses and the rest of Duke’s transit vehicles.

And if you plan to ride a campus vehicle, wear your mask – a face covering is required to help reduce transmission of the virus.

“We’re trying our best to ensure everything from the seats to the handrails to the places where people rest their bags on the floor are sanitized,” said Carl DePinto, director of Duke Parking & Transportation.

Luke Fenlon of Cenplex Building Services disinfects a Duke bus. Photo by Stephen Schramm.The three-step cleaning process involves wiping down all interior surfaces of vehicles with hospital-grade disinfectant every day. The vehicle exteriors are cleaned weekly. And every two weeks, staff from the janitorial company Cenplex Building Services use electrostatic sprayers to coat bus interiors to limit the spread of any contaminants on surfaces.

In addition to the cleaning process, a hand sanitizer dispenser is at the entry of each bus.

Duke’s safety measures also extend to physically separating transit operators and passengers. 

Among the measures, according to DePinto:

  • The number of passengers on vehicles will be limited to roughly 50 percent capacity. Additional buses will be added to popular routes such as the C1: East-West route to help with demand.
  • Passengers will enter and exit from the buses’ rear entrance to maintain distancing from the driver. People will be prevented from boarding until riders exit to maintain physical distancing.
  • Parking & Transportation will provide guidance within the buses and online for riding Duke vehicles.

“We’re limiting the amount of people on the buses to protect you, but there may be longer wait times,” DePinto said. “So, give yourself time. Plan your route.”

Help share the proactive and extensive work being done by all Duke community members during the COVID-19 outbreak. Send ideas, shout-outs and photographs here or write working@duke.edu.