For students at Florida A&M University, the Venom Shuttle is essential. Students who reside on and off campus and don’t own a car can use the Venom to get to and from campus.
To adhere to CDC guidelines, seating on the shuttle is limited and the shuttle routes have changed.
There are fewer Venom drivers and few seats available on the shuttle for students.
But this doesn’t seem to be a problem. Not many students are riding the shuttle due to COVID. However, there are still several students residing on and off-campus who have in-person classes and need to use the Venom Shuttle for transportation.
“The Venom has hit or miss days. It’s either going to be full even though there are empty seats, or it’ll just be me and the driver,” FAMU student Czenobia Christian said.
Prior to the pandemic, the shuttle had several drivers going to different routes to pick up a variety of students, because at the time that was needed.
However, now that fewer students are riding the Venom Shuttle, there are only a handful of drivers and each of those drivers makes a stop at every location including at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in Innovation Park.
The downfall is that students will now have a longer wait time to ride the Venom and the drivers must make longer routes than they normally would with a shorter staff.
Masks are always required on the shuttle and the seats are labeled so it is designated for people to sit.
Drivers do reserve the right to deny a student access from riding the shuttle if they do not have a face covering. Drivers are also required to wear a mask for the entire duration of their shift, even if students are not riding the shuttle.
After every shift rotation, the Venom drivers sanitize the shuttle to maintain the cleanliness and adhere to CDC guidelines. Some drivers may bring their cleaning supplies such as Lysol and Lysol wipes.
“Even though they tell me they clean up and sanitize this bus, I make sure to come on here every day and wipe off the seats, poles and anything I touch. I’m old, I have to make sure I’m all right,” said a Venom driver who insisted on being known as Mr. King of FAMU Venom Shuttle 526.
Mornings seem to be the busiest for the drivers. However, they still maintain the cleanliness and the safety precautions needed to provide a safe experience for all students who use the shuttle for transportation.