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How GRTC is enforcing social distancing on busy bus routes

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Posted at 4:26 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 16:26:36-04

RICHMOND, Va.-- GRTC is re-deploying busses to routes with high ridership in order to enforce social distancing among riders.

Buses from express routes with low passenger counts will be switched to routes with passenger counts averaging greater than 20 people per bus.

GRTC ridership on core local routes is “very high” according to a press release issued Wednesday, with passenger loads frequently exceeding 20 or 30 passengers per bus.

“Using the buses removed from express service operations, today GRTC began deploying additional buses on the 1A, 2A/B/C, 3B/C, and Pulse,” the release said.

Passengers may be asked to board a bus tailing the normal bus in service to provide better social distancing on-board.

On Wednesday, express route customers were transported in GRTC vans instead of buses, freeing these buses to jump onto local routes.

“This allows us to continue providing essential transit service without leaving passengers stranded at bus stops and enables us to better-space passengers physically apart while riding. Even though we are placing more local buses in service, we stress that customers should only ride for essential needs like getting to jobs, food or critical resources,” GRTC Chief Executive Officer Julie Timm said.

Passengers are asked to leave a seat empty beside them and observe social distancing as much as possible while riding.

Customers are also encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and wear face masks [cdc.gov] when in public. GRTC previously suspended fare collection March 19th [ridegrtc.com] and implemented rear door boarding, except for passengers needing Operator assistance at the front door.

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.