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AppalCART Board Meeting, October 26, 2020

The August AppalCART Board meeting  is scheduled for Monday, October 26, 2020 at 3:00 pm. Due to a continued need for social distancing measures associated with the COVID-19 event, the Board will be unable to meet as group at our facility.  However, we have made arrangements to conduct the meeting via a Zoom meeting.

 

Individuals who wish to address the Board during remote public participation or view the meeting can do so through Zoom either online or by phone. If you wish to provide public comment or view the meeting, email Director Craig Hughes at director@appalcart.com or call at 828-297-1300 ext 104 and you will be provided an invitation to the meeting. All registrations must be completed by 12:00 pm on the day of the meeting.

There will be public hearings for FY 2021-22 Section 5311 (ADTAP), 5310, 5339, 5307 and applicable State funding, or combination thereof applications and Night Owl Service Adjustments.  See announcements below:

Public Hearing Announcement

5311 Administrative Grant Budget

5311 Operating Grant Budget

5311 Capital Grant Budget

Combined Capital Grant Application

Rural State Operating Grant Budget

Rural State Operating Grant Application

Draft Proposed FY 22 Budget

 

Possible Night Owl Route Changes

AppalCART gives notice of a Public Hearing regarding potential changes to the Night Owl Service beginning January 19, 2021.  The changes will reflect the decrease in ridership on the Night Owl routes during the fall 2020 semester.  Night Owl routes were implemented to serve as a safe transportation option for those passengers who may be working later hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights and those who may want to study, or just enjoy a late evening with friends.  Last year helped AppalCART staff, App State staff, and the AppalCART Board identify Night Owl service needs and adjustments were made.  Lifestyle changes brought about by the COVID-19 event have greatly impacted ridership on the Night Owl routes.  Ridership on Night Owl Routes was lower at the start of the fall semester and has continued to decrease as the semester has continued (See Ridership By Week Graph and Raw Ridership Information:  Pop105, Gold, and Express)).  Some nights have seen as few as 18 passengers on all three routes combined.  The average ridership on those nights is about 1.3 passengers per hour (Ridership last year was about 13 trips per hour) and average ridership drops below 1 trip per round after midnight on these nights (See Ridership By Round Graph).

The AppalCART Board would like to hear our passengers’ thoughts on changes to or cancellation of any Night Owl Routes. The Board will discuss whether to reduce, cancel, or sustain current Night Owl service at a later date. 

A public hearing to receive comments from the public has been scheduled for October 26, 2020 at 3:00 PM via Zoom.  Individuals who wish to address the Board during the remote public hearing portion, or view the meeting can do so through Zoom either online or by phone. If you wish to provide public comment or view the meeting, email Rachel Thomas at adminassistant@appalcart.com or call at 828-297-1300 ext. 105 and you will be provided an invitation to the meeting.  All registrations must be completed by 12:00 pm on the day of the meeting.

Written comments should be directed to Transportation Director Craig Hughes by email at director@appalcart.com, mail at AppalCART, 305 NC Hwy 105 Bypass, Boone, NC 28607, or phone at 828.297.1300 x 104 through November 20, 2020.  Thank you in advance for your valuable input and we look forward to receiving your comments.

Persons having hearing disabilities who need interpreters should contact AppalCART one week in advance by calling State of North Carolina 711 number (Text Telephone) and/or Telecommunications Relay Services (Relay North Carolina) numbers 1-800-735-2962 (TDD/TTY) and 1-800-8262 (voice).

ApalCART Welcomes Students With Open Doors and COVID-free Transit

As the Watauga County community prepares for an exciting fall semester and the return of university students to the area, AppalCART is gearing up with a renewed commitment to the health and safety of passengers. This includes more rigorous preventive measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

For a new infomercial about AppalCART’s COVID-19 Preparedness, visit - YouTube Link

For more information about AppalCART, visit www.appalcart.com

For up-to-date local COVID-19 information, visit https://www.apphealthcare.com/covid-19-information/

For more information concerning steps to prevent the Coronavirus, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

 

Fall Schedule Starting         

The Fall schedule started Monday, August 17, 2020.  The Night Owl Service will be available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights until 2:30 am.  Go to https://www.appalcart.com/bus-routes for schedule information.

 

Please download the NextBus App and set AppalCART as your transit system to see where stops and routes are located on your mobile device. NextBus will show you how long it will be until your bus arrives at your stop.  A map feature is also available to allow you to see where your bus is in real-time.

 

Also, in an effort to maintain social distancing, AppalCART is limiting capacity on our larger vehicles to 20 passengers on our 35 ft – 40 ft buses, 15 passengers on our 30 ft buses, and 10 passengers on our cutaway (C-81).  Capacities on buses were posted on the entry doors beginning Monday, August 10, 2020. These capacities allow for 50% seating and some standees.  This measure follows precautions already put in place by many transit systems across the country.

 

Please remember to enter the bus at the front and exit from the rear to reduce the potential for close contact.  AppalCART appreciates your patience and cooperation as we implement these measures for the protection of our passengers and drivers.

 

Face Covering Requirement

As restrictions on travel are lifted and more businesses return to normal operations, ridership is beginning to increase.  As a result, utilization of our services will increase.  AppalCART wants to take all necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our employees and passengers.  In an effort to reduce the likelihood of transmitting the COVID-19 virus while on an AppalCART vehicle, all passengers will need to wear a face covering on AppalCART vehicles beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.   

Face coverings will not be required for those who are under 10 years old, or who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition.

We appreciate the patience and compliance of all of our passengers as we work to provide the safest transportation possible.

AppalCART Measures To Prevent  the Spread of the Coronsavirus o Night Owl until Thursday,

In addition to standard AppalCART cleaning and upkeep, we have taken the following additional precautionary measures in response to the evolving COVID-19 epidemic:   

 

  • spraying and wiping bus and van “touch” areas - door handles, seat backs, and hold rails multiple times each day with commercial disinfecting spray.

 

  • spraying and wiping door handles, common areas, and surfaces throughout AppalCART building facilities twice a day with commercial disinfectant. 

 

  • providing sanitizing wipes for AppalCART staff including bus operators.

 

  • Use of sanitizing pumps throughout AppalCART facilities.

 

  • Rear door boarding (front door access will be available for persons with disabilities).

 

  • Making masks available to all employees.

 

  • Glove distribution to all operators.

 

  • Spot sanitizing on buses throughout the day.

 

  • Separation barrier installed to promote additional social distancing behind bus operator at rear of wheel well.

 

  • Deep cleaning the entire fleet.

We want all of our passengers to feel safe while utilizing our service and to know that we are taking measures to prevent the spread of disease or viruses on our vehicles.

Please maintain social distancing guidelines while uisng our service (6 ft from other passengers and drivers.

For more information concerning steps to prevent the Coronavirus, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html .

AppalCART Is Hiring!

AppalCART accepting applications for safe and courteous drivers.  Employment information can found here.

AppalCart Contact Information
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305 Hwy 105 Bypass - Boone, NC 28607

Telephone: (828) 297-1300
Fax: (828) 297- 4100

info@appalcart.com

twitter.com/appalcart

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