University of Idaho’s Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) helps maintain the safety of students, staff and faculty on the road, regardless of weather conditions or the presence of a pandemic. This is especially important now, given the ongoing wildfire season and the rising numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in neighboring Whitman County.

Some UI students travel between Moscow and Washington State University for classes. For the time being, packing several students onto the same bus is not the ideal way to provide transportation between the campuses, as it does not provide for adequate social distancing. Nonetheless, students without their own vehicles need to find transportation between campuses and students with vehicles need access to purchasing campus parking permits. 

PTS had more time to prepare for COVID-19-related complications than it did last semester, when everything was closed seemingly out of nowhere, PTS Field Operations Manager Stuart Robb said.

“We’ve had time to prepare for the return of students this fall,” Robb said. “Along with the expected plexiglass window guards and social distancing signage for our office, we emphasized online-only permit sales.”  

PTS is also working to minimize interactions between employees and community members. One way the department has managed this is through online-only parking permit sales, Robb said. 

The most difficult part of adapting to COVID-19-related protocols was adapting to new and changing needs of customers, Robb said. 

“We want to continue to give (campus employees) the most cost-effective options that meet their specific needs,” Robb said. “This might mean they utilize meter parking on days they work on campus or purchase temporary permits rather than annual permits.” 

Teren Kowatsch can be reached at 

arg-news@uidaho.edu 





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