LA CROSSE, Wis. - (WXOW) - For decades, Groome Transportation has provided people with safe and reliable transportation between 13 major hub airports and 120 cities, but their services were halted in March when the pandemic set in.
Because air travel diminished so greatly and there was virtually no one flying for a period of time, the shuttle service stopped at the end of March and just began reopening in some hubs across the country in July when they saw the demand for service returning.
Currently TSA screenings are only about 35% of what they were last year but that has increased greatly since back in mid-April when it was below 5%. As they are beginning to see demand return in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport market, they are ready to re-open their service in eastern Minnesota.
They will reopen their Rochester location on November 11th which means a frequent schedule of round-trip service between Rochester, La Crosse, Winona and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will resume.
With services resuming, they are making sure to take extra precautions to ensure everyone's safety.
"The first thing we are going is enhancing our cleaning procedures," said Jason Deitz, Groome Transportation's director of marketing.
Deitz explained that they purchased electrostatic sprayers like those used in hospitals and airplanes which has an EPA registered disinfectant. They ordered them back in April and just now have them in time for their reopening.
The sprayer puts a positive charge on the disinfectant as it comes out which means it bonds with surfaces and wrap around them. Deitz says that after every trip they will fog the vehicles with the electrostatic sprayers to ensure that every surface is sanitized.
Along with the sprayers, they are reducing capacity in their shuttles. Deitz says their vehicles typically hold 12-14 people but now they will hold 50% capacity at the maximum so people have space.
They also are educating their employees fully on social distancing guidelines as well as sanitation guidelines. They also have a mask requirement for all employees and passengers.
Groome Transportation has been open in a few markets for the last couple of months and Deitz says it has been going very well and the feedback from the customers has been overwhelmingly positive so reopening this market is one of the next stops.
They are opening a park-n-ride for customers to use at the Rochester location along with the resuming of service.
"There are people that just have to travel either for their jobs or for their health and they need a service like this," said Deitz. "We have heard from people throughout the pandemic that has wanted to use our service but weren't able to because we were closed and we're glad to be able to open back up for those folks."
To schedule a trip or discover times and destinations, you can visit the Groome Transportation website.