News Flash

News and Media

Posted on: September 25, 2020

MetroLINK joins APTA's "Health & Safety Commitments" Program

APTA Task Force Seal Sign

Rock Island County, IL – The Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District is proud to announce that it has joined the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) “Health and Safety Commitments Program,” the public transportation industry’s overarching pledge to passengers that public transit systems are taking all the necessary measures to operate safely as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 

The health and safety of passengers and operators is the most important priority for MetroLINK’s Metro bus and specialized transportation services operation. Since the beginning of the pandemic, MetroLINK has worked tirelessly to keep riders safe from infection from the coronavirus. By signing on to the APTA Health and Safety Commitments Program with more than 100 public transit systems, MetroLINK and the public transit industry are actively working to instill confidence in riders that it’s committed to protecting their health and safety. 

 

The Program was developed after asking transit users from across the country what measures would make them feel more confident riding public transportation amid concerns about COVID-19. From this research, the industry identified four key areas that transit systems need to address to earn riders’ confidence:

 

  • 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

 

“We have pledged to meet these commitments by creating specific policies that are effective for our system, our riders, and our community”, says Jennifer Hirsch, Manager of Administration. “A key component of the Health and Safety Commitments Program is the shared responsibility of our system and our riders to follow the guidelines. Riders rely on us to follow these commitments, and we rely on riders to protect themselves and other customers.”

 

MetroLINK is committed to continually addressing and implementing pillars of the Program. Current actions on the Metro bus and specialized transportation services system include: 

  • Requiring riders and drivers to mask up!
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of buses and facilities throughout the day
  • Signage and social media messages communicating health and safety messages
  • Installation of touchless doors, sinks, and automated flushometers in all facilities
  • Installation of driver protective panels in all buses
  • Installation of touchless wheelchair securement systems
  • Distribution of over 3000 Ride Safe kits to passengers including hand sanitizer and reusable face covering
  • Installation of air purifiers on buses

 

“Public transportation is and will be vital to the social and economic recovery of our communities”, said Jeff Nelson, APTA Vice Chair, and General Manager of MetroLINK.  “We want current and future riders to view public transit as a safe and preferred mobility choice. We believe our health and safety efforts will help convey that message.”

 

“The program launched is the public transportation industry’s pledge to promote sensible policies and practices designed to keep transit users and transit employees safe during the COVID-19 crisis,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. 

 

To learn more about MetroLINK’s commitment to health and safety during this pandemic, follow them @MetroQC on Facebook and Twitter, or visit MetroQC.com

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