How public transportation officials are taking precautions amid coronavirus concern

Posted at 7:07 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 19:08:46-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Public transportation companies in Virginia are taking precautions as the new coronavirus spreads in the state.

The bus company Greyhound has a website dedicated to its coronavirus response and said the company is “working hard to stay informed on its impact”.

They added while the company has no cancellations or travel restrictions because of the virus, they are giving customers a one-time offer to rebook their trip for free.

If you have booked a trip between March 10-31, 2020 for travel between March 10 and May 31, 2020, you can reschedule your travel between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

If you want to postpone beyond that, you are asked to call 1-800-231-2222.

The company adds they have “enhanced the sanitation procedures on our buses and in our privately owned terminals.” On the buses, this focus is on the “most frequently used areas such as handrails, door handles, overhead bins and restrooms.”

They are also encouraging passengers wash their hands frequently and carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to use at their seats.

Amtrak said they are also taking similar precautions and has a website dedicated to its response.

The company said they are waiving change fees for all existing and new reservations made before April 30, 2020.

They are also increasing the frequency of cleaning on their trains and stations “to multiple times a day, and in some cases, on an hourly basis. We have increased the use of disinfectants to wipe down handrails, doorknobs, handles and surfaces.”

They added they have “increased the quantity of sanitizers and disinfectant wipes available for customers and employees throughout our trains and stations.”

Amtrak added they are encouraging to passengers to wash their hands frequently with soap and water (and for at least 20 seconds each time) and use hand sanitizer if you cannot wash your hands.

They add when you sneeze or cough, to use tissues and dispose of them after each use or cover your mouth with your sleeve or elbow.

Meanwhile, GRTC also has a website dedicated to coronavirus.

The company said they are “closely monitoring updates on the COVID-19 virus spread in the United States so that we may continue to take reasonable precautions to address the risk. The well-being of our staff and passengers is paramount.”

The company said they already have frequent cleaning procedures in place to prevent the spread of diseases.

Buses are cleaned daily, but they also go through a deep-cleaning rotation where “all publicly used surfaces and high-touch areas (fareboxes, seat handles, seats, door handles, etc.) are wiped down with disinfectant cleaners, the floors are mopped with disinfectant, and windows are cleaned with disinfectant.”

GRTC said a quarter of their fleet go through this procedure each day and the entire fleet has received a deep-clean every four days.

GRTC is recommending its passengers follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended guidelines for proper hygiene.