Iowa City Transit suspending Eastside Loop service while schools go all online

City of Iowa City

Iowa City transit will temporarily suspend the AM and PM Eastside Loop bus service starting on Monday, Nov. 16.

“The service suspension is being done due to the Iowa City Community School District decision to resume off-site learning,” Iowa City Transit said in a statement. “Service for these two routes will not return until on-site classes resume in the Iowa City Community School District.”

The ICCSD Board of Directors decided to switch to all online instruction at its meeting on Tuesday, due to the ongoing COVID-19 surge in Johnson County. The district received permission from the Iowa Department of Education (DOE) earlier that day to move all classes online. The board decided not to make the switch until Monday in order to give parents time to make childcare arrangements and teachers time to adjust their instructional plans.

The board did leave open the possibility of individual schools making the transition this week, and one school has, ICCSD Board President Shawn Eyestone said during an emergency meeting of Johnson County elected leaders on Thursday evening.

“Hills Elementary closed down today and tomorrow, ahead of the other ones, because of a really high absentee rate with both students and staff,” Eyestone said.

The waivers issued by DOE are only good for two weeks. If ICCSD decides the situation is still too dangerous to resume its hybrid teaching model, which combines in-person and online instruction, the district will have to apply for a new waiver.