Jibe Shuttle Service Set to Resume Next Week

Image of shuttle in background with three people talking in foreground.

North Natomas Jibe used two of its shuttles to help deliver meals to homebound seniors during the pandemic. / Photo NatomasBuzz.com

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Jibe Express shuttle service from North Natomas to downtown Sacramento will resume Monday, July 13 with new reconfigured routes and times.

Shuttle service was suspended on April 2 when ridership dropped 90% after the statewide shelter-in-place directive was issued in mid-March.

North Natomas Jibe briefly operated scaled back shuttle service prior to ceasing its operation altogether during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If we add a loop or scale back a loop, we will put it out via e-blast and update our website,” said Mellissa Meng, Bike & Bus Program Manager for Jibe.

An interactive web map available on Jibe’s website will also be updated.

Effective next week, the shuttle’s Central and Eastside routes have been reconfigured and renamed. There will be double the commuting options now that each route will serve both areas, allowing riders to take either to their destination.

Also starting next week, the shuttle’s Midwest and Westside routes have been renamed to reflect the areas served.

Prior to the pandemic, Jibe Express operated peak-period routes between North Natomas and downtown Sacramento each weekday morning and afternoon.

As shuttle service resumes, loop start times have also been shifted to better serve rider demand. Shuttle service is resuming on a limited schedule and will be adjusted to meet ridership demand.

In an effort to reduce the possibility of riders’ and drivers’ exposure to COVID-19, Jibe is implementing new safety measures for all its shuttles.

Face masks will be required while riding the Jibe Express. A limited number of disposable masks will be available when shuttle service resumes.

For better physical distancing, every other seat has been removed from shuttles to limit capacity to 15 passengers at a time. Once capacity has been reached on a shuttle, no additional passengers will be allowed to board.

Shuttles will start each day with all the windows open for improved circulation. (Previously, passengers could not open and close the windows.)

“The downside is it might be really hot on the shuttles, but I think riders want airflow,” Meng said.

The shuttles will be cleaned every night, and fogged at least once a week. Contactless payment options will continue to be available for riders whether it be by Connect Card, cash or tickets.

North Natomas Jibe is a nonprofit organization funded through rider fares, community facilities district fees and grants.

Shuttles Delivered Meals to Seniors in Natomas

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Image of Heick and Ashby standing together each holding a bag of grocers.

Jibe executive director Becky Heieck and Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby deliver meals to seniors in Natomas. / Photo NatomasBuzz.com

Sacramento Republic FC and Raley’s wrapped up their Indomitable Hands partnership with a little help from North Natomas Jibe.

“I had been looking for ways we can use the shuttle during this time to do good,” said Jibe executive director Becky Heieck.

At the time, Jibe’s shuttle service from North Natomas to downtown Sacramento had been suspended indefinitely amid the pandemic.

But on June 18, two Jibe Express shuttles operated by Regional Transit drivers were used to deliver meals to seniors throughout Natomas.

“SacRT was honored to team up with the Sacramento Republic, Raley’s, North Natomas Jibe and Councilwoman Ashby’s office to deliver freshly cooked heat and serve meals to vulnerable seniors in self isolation and quarantine,” said General Manager/CEO Henry Li. “This program is truly representative of the indomitable spirit that lives within our community and SacRT is proud to be a social service partner during this tremendous time of need.”

For more than two months, the Indomitable Hands program allowed anyone to nominate homebound seniors ages 65+ to receive meals paid for by donors. Sacramento Republic FC employees then transported meals to seniors’ homes, mostly using their own vehicles.

Through the program, 932 bags containing eight meals each — or 7,456 meals altogether — were distributed, according to Kevin Burdick, Community Investment Manager for Sacramento Republic FC. Each bag contained a mix of freshly cooked, heat-and-eat entrees and salads.

The Jibe Express delivery helped “bookend” the program, said Scott Moak, Sacramento Republic FC vice president.

“The good news, aside from the thousands of free meals we have been able to distribute to our elders in just a few months, is that we are able to bring the program back if we need to,” Moak said. “Due to the unstable nature of COVID-19, we are assuming there will be another moment in the months ahead where our seniors are going to be forced to stay inside again — and we will be able to restart the program at that time.”

Image of Ashby pushing shopping cart full of food.

“I’m proud to join three terrific partners, Sac Republic, Raleys & Bel Air and Jibe of Naotmas, as we delivered much appreciated groceries to seniors throughout our region,” said Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby. / Photo NatomasBuzz.com

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