City Suspends Downtown Shuttles To Curb COVID's Spread | WGLT

City Suspends Downtown Shuttles To Curb COVID's Spread

Sep 2, 2020

The City of Bloomington moved Wednesday to suspend the operation of downtown shuttles, calling them a "public health and safety risk" due to COVID-19.

The shuttles are known for bringing young people, including many college students, to downtown Bloomington for a night out.

"Allowing the operation of the downtown shuttles, used to carry patrons to and from bars in vehicles where social distancing is not possible, creates a public health and safety risk during this time of rising cases," said the executive order, signed by City Manager Tim Gleason, Mayor Tari Renner, and Mayor Pro Tem Mboka Mwilambwe.

Officials said the order would revoke "the one city permit for an active 'party bus.'" That company is Bloomington-Normal Shuttle, a city spokesperson said.

The order is in place until Sept. 15 unless there is further action by the Bloomington City Council or the city manager.

The move comes less than a week after the Town of Normal prohibited large gatherings near ISU's campus and started requiring bar and restaurant patrons to remain seated.

Normal Mayor Chris Koos and Renner also recently sent letters to liquor license holders, reminding them to enforce mask and capacity rules, or risk losing their licenses.

Both cities are trying to address a surge in COVID-19 cases in McLean County, which has driven the local testing positivity rate into double digits. College students account for the bulk of new cases.