UTS continues night-service pilot, should receive four electric buses this year

The University Transit Service offers 15-minute headways while school is in session. Last year, the service began to offer some late-night service. Kendall Howell is the assistant director of UTS.

“We run one route that kind of goes through most popular areas like the library, the Corner, the dorms,” Howell said. “And then we run what used to be known as Safe Ride but it has been rebranded as UTS On-Demand.” 

Howell said that more data on the service will be brought before the Partnership in the future. He added that UTS has four battery-electric buses on order and they will be available this summer. 

“But we’ll have a ribbon-cutting probably in September or October and we hope those buses join our service before the end of the year,” Howell said. 

Howell said UTS also suffers from driver shortages and needed 12 additional drivers as of the January meeting of the RTP.  He said UTS recognizes the important role that drivers play. 

“The main thing I think for me is this concept of elevating the bus driver in the public consciousness from sort of an entry level position to a trade, a trade that you choose along the level of an electrician or a plumber,” Howell said. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the February 14, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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