A: Well, I know Excelsior Transportation is safe and compliant with COVID requirements. In fact, we are probably the only company in Houston, or maybe even in Texas, that implemented shields in the vehicles immediately after COVID started.
It was a great safety point for our clients that made them feel really safe in our vehicles. Also, it made our drivers feel safe to drive our clients.
It’s a shield that separates the driver from the passengers. Of course, we also made all different adjustments to make everyone comfortable. From how they pay, to how they exit the vehicle and the requirements of each driver to take their temperature every morning. This is in addition to being assessed by a manager to see if there’s any signs or symptoms of COVID or other illness so that everyone is safe.
We communicate very openly with our drivers, so if someone doesn’t feel well we issue a “stop card.” This means they cannot return to work until a doctor’s note is presented clearing them. Also, it is mandatory for all drivers and employees to wear a mask while at work. For passengers, we have masks available if they do not have their own to wear while in the vehicle.
We Don’t Take Chances With COVID
Since the beginning, Excelsior Transportation has stood shoulder to shoulder with our community in leading the charge to slow the spread of COVID-19. Since COVID is a rapidly mutating respiratory virus, we continue those efforts to this day.
We don’t need to educate you on what COVID is and why it’s potentially dangerous for anyone who contracts it. You’ve seen the news. However, what you might not be aware of is our extensive, industry-leading efforts to combat it. Our employees and clientele share a unique relationship that is different than most industries.
Due to the nature of our service, our employees are in close contact with passengers 98% of their time on the job. That poses a potential risk for transmission had we not been early adopters of pro-active solutions from day zero.
When we began to notice the chatter about this then-unknown virus, we knew we needed to get ahead of it. Our team did the research, consulted the CDC as well as medical professionals. We didn’t want to do the bare minimum or wait for a mandate. We wanted to protect our clients and employees—without them, we don’t exist.
Since carriers of COVID can have it without showing any symptoms, we could’ve had clients that were unknowingly exposing drivers and vice versa. We simply couldn’t take any chances, so we did go to extremes in prevention and do to this day.
The tricky part was how to implement such measures with minimal impact on clients or distractions to our drivers. It required some out-of-the-box thinking and improvisation and our team delivered in a major way.
How We Have Kept Clients And Employees Safe From COVID
Of course, no one can guarantee that you won’t contract Coronavirus. However, we can mitigate the risk of exposure significantly while maintaining some normalcy. That’s what we set out to do when it became evident that COVID was possibly a bigger issue than we knew at the time.
We started by doing the obvious, implementing a set of COVID controls that include to this day:
- Elimination – All vehicles are disinfected before and after every trip—no exceptions. This step is paramount as it eliminates the chance of transmission of any contaminant from one booking to the next.
- Substitute – Each booking has a limited number of passengers allowed in any vehicle. The limit does vary based on the size of the vehicle, but it is aimed to maintain safe distancing as much as possible.
- Engineering Control – Part of our goal was not just to protect our clients from other clients but from our drivers and vice versa. No one can tell if they may be carrying COVID and unknowingly transmit it to someone else. We eliminated the possibility by installing Foxmark Driver Shields in every vehicle. This minimally invasive clear shield effectively contains the driver seat completely protecting both driver and passengers.
- Administrative control – We wanted to be able to catch issues quickly. Therefore, we implemented and practice to this day, a rigorous screening policy for our employees. While we’ve always screened regularly for alcohol and drug use, this was different and far more robust. This wasn’t a new concept with us as we’ve always screened for flu, strep, or any communicable diseases. Now, we just do it at a much greater frequency and our employees are happy to help as it protects them as well.
Employee & Passenger Responsibilities
Following our COVID controls, we also have held our employees to a higher standard. We understand some of our clients have compromised immune systems but still must live their life and work.
To further protect them and fellow employees, we implemented the required protocols for all employees. This included not just drivers, but mechanics, porters, and even administrative and management. Here is just a sampling of the Safety Procedures our employees must adhere to.
If You Feel Sick DO NOT COME TO WORK
- If you feel even slightly under the weather, err on the side of caution and do not come to work. Seek medical attention and if you have a fever or COVID symptoms you must get a negative COVID test. If non-COVID-related, you must get a note from your doctor clearing you to work. Without this, you cannot return to work.
- If tested positive you must follow CDC home isolation guidelines and test negative after isolation before returning to work. Bring proof of negative test to be added to your file.
Masks MUST be worn at ALL TIMES
- Masks are required for all employees in all vehicles and indoor office spaces including the service garage.
Maintain Social Distancing And Limit Contact
- Team meetings will be held in small groups to allow for distancing
- Limit contact with passengers. Never remove your mask for any reason, but maintain the professionalism we are known for.
- Ask passengers if they mind handling their luggage if feasible. Otherwise, sanitize handles before and after handling. Use sanitizer throughout the day on your hands.
- Inspect the protective shield in your vehicle at end of each trip to ensure no vulnerabilities.
- Always use the fresh air option on the vehicle AC system. DO NOT recirculate vehicle air.
Our driver and employee policies would be pointless if we did not expect some level of cooperation from our passengers as well. We know some of the concessions we ask you to make may be a minor inconvenience. However, in the interest of keeping everyone safe, we think it’s a small favor to ask.
Please Mask Up
- We ask all passengers to have a mask on before entering our vehicles and to wear it properly for the entirety of their trip.
- We know masks do not guarantee that you will not transmit or contract COVID however, studies prove it helps. We’d rather be over cautious than not be cautious enough.
We take screening very seriously so we will ask some brief questions of each passenger for every booking and check your temperature before entering the vehicle.
- Have you been exposed to anyone with COVID in the last 14 days?
- Do you have any symptoms such as fever, coughing, loss of taste, smell, or nausea?
- Have you recently traveled out of the country?
These are just some of the questions that we ask to help keep everyone safe. Is it a pain? Of course it is, but the alternative is far worse. We greatly appreciate your understanding during these times that we live in.
Our ultimate goal is to be able to give you the same service and attention to detail as we are known for. The only difference is a few minor modifications to ensure we can all remain healthy.
And Now For Some Good News
We know everyone is exhausted with all the COVID coverage and constant stats being flashed on the screen. We know that if we continue to be vigilant, we will adapt as Americans always have. This virus is not going anywhere, but the Flu was once a pandemic too. Once we adapt and begin to slow the spread of this, life will continue to normalize.
So, don’t give up hope, WE’RE HERE WITH YOU! If you need transportation services please know that we are as safe as it gets. Contact us for airport rides, special occasions, or corporate travel, we are safe, clean, and ready to serve you!