To protect our passengers: GATRA continues our daily procedure of cleaning, disinfecting, and airing out each bus. GATRA purchased 4 air foggers that disinfect all surfaces in each vehicle, the Offices as well as our Maintenance facilities. We have hand sanitizer units and have posted recommended passenger practices for social distancing. We are strongly suggesting that all passengers wear face coverings as it is a State Law. The GATRA Terminal Building is still closed until further notice. The Diner has opened up, but business there has been slow.
To protect our Operators: We have updated our barriers in all of our vehicles to protect our Operators. We continue to restrict passengers from sitting anywhere near our Operators. The immediate seats that are close to our Operators continue to be been roped off and we have marked a line that all passengers must stay behind.
GATRA will be receiving two 35 ft. Gillig buses over the next few days. We have decided to purchase a UV Air Flow system to be placed in our air ducts. We will be testing the air quality once they are installed. If the UV system works in cleaning the air in the buses, we will be looking to upgrade all of our buses.
Effective August 31, 2020 we will resume collecting fares. This will give us a chance to make sure all vehicles have the most updated barriers to protect our Operators.
To protect our staff: Our administrative staff continue to work remotely from home. A weekly Zoom Conference is scheduled for every Tuesday for all Directors to report updates and issues in each department. This allows us to continue our regular daily operations. I continue to 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.
Although ridership continues to be low, the last three months have shown an increase. May was down 72%, June down 58% and July down 46%.
We continue to operate a modified weekday fixed route service. We did increase three routes as we saw a slight uptick in ridership on those routes. We have normal morning hours but our afternoons continue to end at 5pm. The ADA and Paratransit service continue to operate on this schedule as well.
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 continues to develop, we continue to work together to get through this very challenging experience with the Covid-19 Virus. We continue to work with our partners, the other RTA’s, the federal, state and local governments to safely provide transit services for those who need it.
Mark A. Sousa