ST. LOUIS - This week, Metro Transit has made a lot of adjustments to keep St. Louis moving in the middle of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
One of those changes began Thursday evening. Metro Call-A-Ride vans will be used now to help with bus routes to prevent overcrowding on the busses. Representatives said they are taking many steps to protect riders and workers.
Though many of our daily routines have come to a screeching halt, the wheels at Metro Transit are still rolling with adjustments.
“Last week, we realized that it would be unlikely to have enough of our workforce or sufficient staffing to support our normal weekday service,” said Jessica Mefford-Miller, executive director of Metro.
With ridership down 40 to 50 percent and some employees tending to personal matters, MetroLink and MetroBus are now on modified schedules seven days a week.
“With this reduced schedule, we are able to bring most of those buses back to the facility at midday and sanitize them an additional time,” Mefford-Miller said.
Mefford-Miller said they are cleaning busses and buildings more frequently, encouraging customers to avoid touching surfaces, and using social distance. There are lines taped on the floors of the busses to help.
“We are also reserving some of our workforce for buses and vans to be deployed in service where we need them most,” Mefford-Miller said.
Employees at the eight operating facilities have also been keeping the wheels turning with flexibility.
Some have been reassigned to distribute gloves, sanitizers, and bottled water.
They are also doing temperature scans for all employees.
Metro Transit activated its emergency operation center in mid-March and says their priorities are providing rides and safety.
“We are taking the necessary action we need to provide a sustainable and predictable service to our customers, to protect the safety and health of our employees, and to ensure that we can ramp back up when this crisis begins to wane,” Mefford-Miller said.
For specifics on altered bus scheduling, click here.