Enhancements to shuttle services help reduce mid-day wait times

November 19, 2018

The shuttle commute for employees at the Medical Center campus continues to be quicker and easier following the addition of three new shuttles earlier this spring. We are now operating 12 shuttles, which are helping reduce midday wait times at the circulator stops. According to Facilities Operations, wait times have been cut in half since the addition of the shuttles.

“Midday traveling between the Meyer Building and the Medical Center Campus is a very busy time,” Facilities Operations Assistant Director Michael Jackson said. “So, decreasing wait times for midday riders is a very big win.”

Most recently, two loaner shuttles were replaced with two new Texas Children’s-branded shuttles in bright orange and hot pink, which are diesel-fueled and have front entry and rear exits, vinyl seats, and audio-visual monitors. They’re also equipped with Double Map shuttle tracking, which, once active, will allow employees to locate and track the shuttle using a mobile phone app.

“Our goal is to improve the shuttle experience for employees by decreasing wait times and increasing the frequency of shuttles in the rotation to and from destinations,” Jackson said, adding that the number of employees riding the shuttles continues to increase. “The frequency between shuttles is now averaging five minutes with a shuttle round trip averaging 20 minutes. We are receiving no calls of negative effects on ridership at this time.”

Another operational change made was allowing the shuttle supervisor, who has primarily been stationed at the Garage 19 stop, to move to the Feigin stop during peak evening times to monitor shuttle frequency, ridership, and most importantly, communicate to riders when the next shuttle will arrive.

“We believe informing riders of the shuttle arrival status helps ease anxiety and set expectations,” Facilities Operations Manager Samuel Hines said. “With more staff parking at the Meyer South surface lots, we have asked our shuttle drivers to stop there on the return trip back to Garage 19 in the evenings. This will shorten the walk to their vehicles at night and during inclement weather.”

The enhancements Facilities Operations continues to implement for employees also help provide a better experience for patient families. Jackson says that the additional shuttles are expected to improve patient and family experience by opening up parking spaces at the hospital, as staff continue parking in their assigned garages and ride the shuttle.

The Facilities Operations team is excited about the new additions, and they are looking forward to continuing to make employees’ commute throughout the Medical Center a safe and efficient one.

“We ride the shuttles frequently, and we meet with the shuttle transportation company every two weeks to address any issue and pitch ideas,” Jackson said. ”Just being present, available, fostering that communication, and definitely being transparent is going to be the key to improving Texas Children’s transportation and parking as a whole.”

For more information, call the 24/7 shuttle hotline, ext. 4-2666.

Parking update

The Texas Children’s Parking Task Force is listening to your feedback about employee parking and shuttle experiences, and we are trying to create solutions to ease the frustrations that come with working and navigating in the world’s largest medical complex.

What has the Parking Task Force accomplished recently?

We are excited to share with you new developments and improvements made over the past few months. Click here for more details.

Where can I find more parking information?

The Benefits website is the best and most readily available resource for everything employees want to know about parking and commuting at Texas Children’s – one of the last institutions in the Medical Center to offer paid, off-campus parking as a benefit to our employees. Simply click on Parking at the top right corner of the Benefits homepage (next to Important Resources) for direct access to all things parking.

Under the “Locations & Commuter Options” section on the site, we have included new information about TMC parking at Garage 19, Meyer North, Meyer South as well as Smith Lands East and West. You can also find more information online about weekend and after-hours access to different garages, security services and no-cost METRO bus and rail passes.

How can we keep up with what the Parking Task Force is doing?

Communicating with our Texas Children’s employees and leveraging your feedback are major priorities for the Task Force. Be sure to look for future updates about the group’s activities and accomplishments on Connect.

I want to share my comments or concerns with the Parking Task Force. How do I get in touch?

The Parking Task Force maintains and monitors a dedicated email inbox every day to give our employees a place to share their parking and shuttle comments and suggestions directly with the team. Send your thoughts and feedback to tchparkingtaskforce@texaschildrens.org.