Today's Date: August 7, 2020

GATRA Covid 19 update from Mark A. Sousa, Administrator

I am writing to make you aware of the multi-faceted approach we have taken in dealing with the Covid-19 Virus. To date, fortunately none of our staff or Operators have been identified as Covid-19 Virus positive.

To protect our passengers: GATRA has instituted a daily procedure of cleaning, disinfecting, and airing out each bus.  In each vehicle, we have installed hand sanitizer units and have posted recommended passenger practices for social distancing.  The GATRA Terminal Building has been closed until further notice.

To protect our Operators:  We have restricted passengers from sitting anywhere near our operators.  The immediate seats that are close to our Operators have been roped off. Operators do not make change and there is no contact between Operators and passengers in fare collection.

We have instituted a Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) plan for all drivers including gloves and sanitizing wipes/lotions We are waiting for a shipment of N95 masks that we will be handing out once they arrive. The fare system currently used by the GATRA minimizes driver-passenger contact. We have also instituted the “Collecting Fares Without Enforcement” language that the MBTA and most of the RTA’s have chosen to do as well.

To protect our staff:  We have setup a VPN system to allow administrative staff to work remotely from home. We have setup a conference call system so we all can call in to get updates.  I personally check in with all of my staff to make sure that they and their families are safe and to see if they need anything,

GATRA has experienced a decline in our average weekly ridership.  At this point, we have approximately 3600 riders on our fixed route service, down from 7700, Dial A Ride service has approximately 543 riders, down from 2124 and all of the Council on Aging transportation services are closed for the most part.

Due to the safety of our Operators and Passengers, effective Monday April 13, 2020 GATRA will be operating a Modified weekday fixed route service. We will have normal morning hours but our afternoons will end at 5pm. The ADA and Paratransit service will be operating on this schedule.

GATRA is committed to providing transportation service to our riders in getting to work, grocery/pharmacy shopping, and life supporting medical services.  As this situation develops, we all will need to work together to get through this very challenging experience with the Covid-19 virus.  This current plan is designed to get us through the next few weeks however, we are working on a daily basis with the federal, state and local resources to continue to safely provide transit services for those who need it.