SURGE shuttle temporarily suspended due to safety concerns



CCRTA plans to post informational flyers around campus along with making a safety video to show riders how to safely ride the shuttle.

The Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority’s SURGE autonomous shuttle route has been temporarily suspended at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi following a safety concern.

The EZ 10 Generation III, or SURGE as it’s known on campus, is temporarily out of service following an incident that occurred in Columbus, Ohio where a passenger fell from their seat.

EasyMile released a statement regarding the incident on Tuesday, Feb. 25 which reads, “EasyMile’s passenger operations in the US have been temporarily suspended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after a passenger fell from their seat in a minor incident.”

The shuttle was driving at 7.1 miles per hour at the Linden residential area and made an emergency stop, causing the passenger to fall from their seat. The shuttle makes emergency stops if the shuttle detects potential safety risks with 7.1 being the safest speed to travel for the automated shuttle.

“There have been no incidents at TAMU-CC,” said CCRTA’s Marketing Director Rita Patrick. “The NHTSA have suspended the license to drive the vehicle, and they request that we stop until they have finished their evaluation.”

As stated by EasyMile, they are currently working with their partners and the NHTSA to be back in passenger service as soon as possible. Patrick added that they are currently awaiting word from them regarding the SURGE and when it will be back up and running for students and staff.

Although there isn’t an official statement from EasyMile regarding when the automated shuttles will be cleared by the NHTSA, the investigation could be finished within a week or so.

Patrick emphasized that they are currently on track to deliver safety tips around campus via posters and a safety video on the CCRTA website. She also gave tips on how to properly stand while riding the shuttle, and compares it to when an airport monorail shuttle takes off.

“We ask that you have your legs apart,” said Patrick. “You have maybe one foot in front of the other so you have a good stance.” And this also applies to the same if you ride the regular CCRTA bus routes in the event of an emergency stop.

The safety video will be uploaded onto the CCRTA’s website by the week of Monday, March 2 as mentioned by Patrick, and the posters will be posted around campus, as well.

For more information regarding the SURGE shuttle when it will be up and running again, or any CCRTA related news, visit their website here or follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more details.