TRANSPORTATION POLICY (COVID-19)

Transportation Policy for College Sponsored Student-Related Off-Campus Activities

As the fall 2020 semester begins, college-sponsored student-related transportation deemed critical or curricular in nature (e.g., transportation to medical appointments and local stores for groceries and personal supplies, shuttles to/from hotel, course-related field trips, etc.) will be permitted. Faculty planning off-campus field trips related to their course should have an alternative plan in place should there come a point when it is necessary to suspend off-campus trips. All other college-sponsored off-campus travel and transportation (e.g., student club and organization trips, Office of Campus Life sponsored trips, travel to off-campus athletic facilities) will not be allowed until the college determines it is safe to do so based on a variety of public health criteria, including the number of COVID-19 cases at the college. 

Policies Governing Student-Related Transportation

  1. All college-sponsored, off-campus, student-related travel and vehicle rentals must be pre-approved by the respective administrative or academic department (e.g., student clubs and organizations require pre-approval from the Office of Campus Life, athletic teams require pre-approval from the Department of Athletics, class trips need pre-approval from an academic department). Vehicles rented without pre-approval will not be paid for with college funds.
  2. Transportation of any individual with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 to a medical appointment will be done by the Department of Campus Safety, following specific COVID-19 protocols as determined by Bates Health Services in conjunction with Central Maine Medical Center. One vehicle has been designated for medical transportation for students suspected of having COVID-19. 
  3. Full-size vans (Bates-owned and rented) may be used to transport students for college programs and services (e.g., transportation to and from off-campus housing; student teaching assignments; off-campus coursework; recreation; and non-COVID related medical appointments). 
  4. Van capacity, not including the driver, may not exceed six people, all of whom must wear face coverings, and there must be natural ventilation (windows down or cracked).
  5. Buses may be used to transport students for college programs and services (transportation to and from: off-campus housing; student teaching assignments; off-campus coursework; recreation; and non-COVID related medical appointments). 
  6. Bus capacity, not including the driver, may not exceed 50% of maximum capacity. All riders must wear face coverings, and there must be natural ventilation (windows down or cracked) or mechanical ventilation for coach buses.
  7. All occupants of vans and buses must wear face coverings and sit as physically distant as possible. Sitting in the front passenger seat is prohibited.
  8. Whenever possible, all windows should remain open for the duration of the trip as well as between each leg of the trip. 
  9. When groups are traveling together regularly using multiple vehicles, every effort should be made to assign individuals to travel groups that remain consistent throughout the individual trip and, if possible, throughout the series of trips.  (For example, courses that have regular field trips should assign students to pods that always travel together in the same vehicle.)
  10. The use of college vehicles for Campus Safety escorts (i.e. “safe rides”) is not permitted. All such escorts will occur on foot, except in special circumstances.
  11. The use of personal vehicles for the transportation of other community members for college-sanctioned off-campus activities is prohibited.

Note. While we are planning for the use of vans and buses, as necessary, it is important to note that it may not be possible to use them if infection rates on campus become too high and the college needs to suspend college-sponsored transportation for student-related off-campus activities. No college department or course should have a dependency on the use of vans and buses, except for those services deemed essential (e.g., transportation to medical appointments and local stores for groceries and personal items).