With an influx of changes in our community due to COVID-19 concerns we have compiled a list of FAQ’s that we will continue to update as things change.
Why is public transportation service not shut down?
Public transportation (which includes bus drivers and mass transit workers) are considered “essential infrastructure” by the Department of Homeland Security, as well as state and local authorities. Until that guidance changes, we will continue to be of service to our communities as long as we are able to.
Our role in the community is to create a transportation mode for essential travel such as trips for groceries, to get necessary healthcare, or to reach an essential job for those without vehicles. Please don’t take unnecessary trips and, as often as possible, keep 6 feet between yourself and others.
Will START Bus be making changes to current levels of service?
Yes. While we want to provide our essential service to the community we recognize the need to right-size our level of service responding to ridership. We encourage all START Bus riders to remain vigilant and continue to check the website or subscribe to service alerts as new developments continue to unfold during these unprecedented times.
Has START Bus made any changes to their cleaning practices and are there plans to clean buses more often?
Yes. START Bus has updated our vehicle cleaning procedures to include nightly disinfecting of all high-touch areas in all our buses.
What are you doing to prevent START Bus employees from spreading illness?
We are requiring that employees stay home if they are sick, that they follow guidance from health authorities on hand washing, avoid touching mouth, nose or eyes, and to cover coughs and sneezes. In addition, START Bus is postponing in-person, non-essential events and meetings that are open to the general public, whether on- or off-site. Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
What can riders do to help prevent the spread of illness?
START Bus is following the guidance of local organizations to help prevent the spread of Corona virus . We ask that all riders partner with us in preventing the spread of Corona virus by following this guidance:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol will do if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands to avoid transferring germs.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces, like counters, light switches and doorknobs.
- Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
What should riders do if they have concerns or observe a bus that needs attention?
There are some situations that might warrant a deeper cleaning which may include sickness, if there is a biohazard or a major spill. If any riders have concerns or observe a bus or vehicle that needs attention, we urge them to please alert a START Bus employee right away.
Do you have signs in buses about covering coughs and sneezes?
Yes. We have placed posters on all START Buses reminding people how to help stop the spread of illness, such as covering coughs and sneezes.
Will you put hand sanitizer on the buses?
Due to extremely limited availability, we are unable to purchase and resupply hand sanitizer on all buses that we have in service every day.
We are disinfecting each bus every night, and ask our riders to help keep public transit safe by staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands regularly – using soap for 20 seconds, especially after touching public surfaces like bus seats and handrails.
What should I do if another rider is coughing or sneezing?
If you encounter another rider that is coughing or sneezing, avoid sitting close to them and do your best to stay at least six feet away. Current public health guidance is to stay at least six feet away from individuals and practice aggressive social distancing (avoid meetings, events or group gatherings).
START Bus has been advised that individuals who are infected with the flu or COVID-19 are most likely to spread the illness when they are actively coughing or sneezing. However, not everyone who coughs or sneezes is infected with COVID-19.
We have placed posters in all of our buses reminding people how to help stop the spread of illness, by covering coughs and sneezes.
If any riders observe a bus or vehicle that needs attention, we urge them to please alert a transit employee right away.
Will drivers be wearing masks?
This has not been recommended to START Bus, but we do have masks available for our Operators should they be necessary.
Will there be START Bus pass refunds be issued?
START Bus pass refunds will be discussed by the START Board at their meeting on April 9, 2020.