UCSF chancellor orders seat belts for shuttles

In the days since a shuttle bus accident killed a University of California at San Francisco psychiatrist, UCSF’s executive team has focused on identifying, evaluating and implementing measures to further ensure safety when riding on the school’s 50 shuttles. On July 14, the shuttle bus collided with a big-rig, killing 52-year-old Dr. Kevin Mack. There were 15 people on the bus at the time of the accident. UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann announced the school’s entire shuttle fleet will be outfitted with seat belts by the end of August.

Desmond-Hellmann said in a statement: “We are launching a comprehensive review of all aspects of our shuttle operations, engaging experts – from UCSF and other universities that operate shuttles, and including other external transportation experts – to review school policies, procedures and practices, and to make recommendations. These measures add to the many safeguards already in place to support our shuttle service, which travels more miles in a dense urban setting than most if not all similar services across the UC system.”

Since the accident transportation supervisors have conducted one-on-one meetings with shuttle drivers and reviewing the key safe driving techniques. The university is also creating a “How am I driving?” telephone hotline, advertised inside and outside the shuttles, so feedback – negative or positive – can be quickly reported and addressed.

“I am committed to ensuring that our community is informed about the many ways we are already working to keep our shuttles safe and the steps we are taking to identify and evaluate additional safety measures,” Desmond-Hellmann said.

— Glenn Swain