GRTC is closely monitoring updates on the COVID-19 virus spread in Virginia so that we may continue to take reasonable precautions to address the risk. The well-being of our staff and passengers is paramount. GRTC, like transit systems across the country, has been in communication with the FTA about our actions, as well as with our local partners. GRTC has been providing updates to Virginia’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT). GRTC is also monitoring other transit systems for their responses and any enhanced protocols.
GRTC already has procedures in place to prevent the spread of diseases on buses by frequent cleaning.
Personal trash bags are being installed on buses for passengers to use. We encourage passengers to take a bag, dispose of tissues and other trash in these bags, and take your trash bag with you when you exit the bus. Many stops have trash cans where you can deposit your trash.
Passengers continue to see/hear regular public service announcements about helping us prevent the spread of germs (cover your cough, use tissues, etc.). Passengers should follow recommended guidelines for proper hygiene (CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html).
If a passenger on the bus is in need of immediate medical assistance, the Operator will contact Radio to request emergency services. If a passenger is ill with bodily fluids expelled on the bus, the bus is immediately pulled out of service for cleaning. On-board passengers are transferred to a clean replacement bus to continue their trip.
For RideFinders clients, a reminder that the Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program is not available for building closures/evacuations, weekend usage or during inclement weather.
The most important action the public can take is to stay updated and follow recommended guidelines from official sources:
GRTC is committed to the safety, health, and financial well-being of its staff. At our headquarters, steps have already been taken. Cleaning of high-touch surfaces has increased during our routine daily cleaning of the facility. Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the property. Maintenance and cleaning staff already use protective gloves, and Operators may also request protective gloves. GRTC’s procurement team is researching orders for disinfectant wipes and on-bus hand sanitizers for our frontline employees, but the order time is currently at least four to six weeks.
At RideFinders, cleaning frequency was also increased, including of high-touch surfaces. Front desk staff have protective gloves.
Our frontline staff, including Operators, Supervisors, Cleaners and Mechanics, are taking every reasonable precaution to protect themselves and each other while serving the public. GRTC maintains a high level of confidence in the safety of our service for our staff and riders.