The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has launched the Health & Safety Commitments Program to help “earn riders’ confidence” and encourage public transit use throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
So far, 119 agencies nationwide have signed on to the Health and Safety Commitments Program, pledging to institute policies and practices that were developed after surveying riders, and covering four major areas:
- “Following public health guidelines from official sources.
- “Cleaning and disinfecting transit vehicles frequently and requiring face coverings and other protections.
- “Keeping passengers informed and empowered to choose the safest times and routes to ride.
- “Putting health first by requiring riders and employees to avoid public transit if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel ill.”
A key component of the program is “the shared responsibility of transit systems and riders to follow the guidelines,” according to APTA, which announced the program on Sept. 10.
Chicago Transit Authority, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, New York City Transit (which on Sept. 14 started a facial-covering enforcement policy) Port Authority of Allegheny County, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority are among those who have signed on. DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE LIST:
These agencies will display a seal of commitment on transit vehicles, in rail stations and at bus stops.
“Public transportation is and will be vital to the social and economic recovery of our nation,” said Nuria I. Fernandez, APTA Chair, and General Manager and CEO of Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
The new program, added APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas, “is a logical extension of the innovation and commitment we have been demonstrating for the past several months—and it makes the need for [Congress and the administration to provide] at least $32 billion in additional emergency funding that much more urgent and critical.”