MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Mountain Line Transit Authority explained that ridership is down 80-85%, depending on the day, as a result of COVID-19 and they are taking many precautions to stop the spread of the virus.
This is according to Chief Executive officer David Bruffy, who said the company is still running a full service and has not had to furlough any of its 45 drivers or other employees. Bruffy said the only change is that they have switched to what they call “summertime” route levels for the WVU campuses, since school in no longer in session.
As far as safety precautions go, there are a lot of changes that have been made in order to ensure the safety of passengers and operators Bruffy said.
Below are precautions Bruffy explained that the company is taking:
- “We treating the buses every night with — we’re fumigating them with DSV, which kills all bacteria and viruses. So in the morning when we start that bus and it goes out on its next route it’s “clean”.
- We’re asking the drivers to make sure that people are socially spaced on the bus and we are putting up the bus full sign if we get too many people so that it wouldn’t be possible to socially distance.
- We’ve issued rubber gloves and masks to our drivers, we’ve put hand sanitizer on all of the buses that are available to the public.
- We’ve put out a number of directives to all of our employees trying to help with awareness, hand washing, how to properly wash your hands, thinking about not touching your face, all of those, the basic things that we need to do every day.
- Even coffee room etiquette, you have 45 drivers, somethings they’re sharing in common and how you touch things and where you things, those are all important.
- Administratively, for instance, when the mail comes in we throw it in a quarantine bin for two days we don’t touch it and we don’t open it, we just let it sit there and we also spray it with disinfectant. But we let it sit there so hopefully, we don’t spread any kind of contamination throughout the organization.
- We’ve also hired a crew from Case Cleaning and Evaluation, those folks are here wiping down high contact surfaces and doorknobs all day long. We also have provided medical wipes to the drivers and they’re wiping down the buses at the top of every hour, throughout the course of the day, particularly high touch areas where passengers are most likely to touch from run to run. Backs of seats, handholds, handrails, that type of thing.
- I know this sounds odd but, we’re discouraging people from riding the bus unless it’s an absolutely essential trip, it’s no time for people to be out joyriding. If you’ve got to go to the grocery store, or if you’ve got to go to work or pharmacy or a medical appointment, then we’re here for you. But if it’s not a critical matter, we’re encouraging our passengers to stay at home.”
Bruffy said those are some of the things Mountain Line has implemented. Those who would like to learn more and stay updated there’s a way to do that.
“I would encourage people to follow our website at busride.org for updated information,” Bruffy said. “If they have questions feel free to give us a call at 304-291-RIDE (304-291-7433) and be safe.”