It just got easier for patients and families to park at Royal University Hospital (RUH).

The RUH Parkade Courtesy Shuttle service is now operational and available to patients and families parking on levels two through five within the RUH parkade.

RUH Courtesy Shuttle

A strobing light atop the RUH Parkade Courtesy Shuttles will make them easy for patients and families to identify and request a lift to the new main entrance of RUH.

Shuttles will transport people from their vehicles to the new walk-in hospital entrance on level three, and back. They can also pick up/drop off people, upon request, to the old main entrance, Dube Centre and Ellis Hall.

This service will be invaluable to those with mobility issues who have to park on the upper levels of the parkade, where there is no elevator access.

The shuttle service is a temporary one, meant to alleviate some of the parking concerns that have arisen as a result of the construction of the new maternal and children’s hospital near RUH. Plans are to suspend the service once construction of the new hospital is complete in 2017, when a second entrance for both the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan (CHS) and RUH will have been built with elevator access to all five levels of the parkade.

The shuttle service was piloted for a month, and proved popular with the public.

“The response has been overwhelming and extremely positive,” noted David Yanciw, Parking Consultant with Saskatoon Health Region. “The shuttle service is extremely helpful for those bringing in a loved one who can’t get around easily, or who have children with them who cannot easily navigate the stairs from the top levels of the parkade.”

The shuttles will be running Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shuttles will not be available on statutory holidays at this time.

Just like a New York taxi, patients and families can simply wave a shuttle down if they see it. A strobing light atop the shuttles will make them easy to identify. Pick-ups can also be requested by calling 306-514-7577. The driver will need to know where the pick-up is required, an approximate time, and the name of the patient.