PSTA Encourages Bus Passengers to Wear Face Masks
Face coverings are an additional health safety measure during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is encouraging passengers who are riding PSTA buses to wear a protective face covering.
The CDC recommends the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
“Public transit plays a crucial role in many people’s lives, and that hasn’t changed during this COVID-19 crisis” said Dr. Ulyee Choe of the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County. “We recommend riders to take steps to protect themselves by keeping at least six feet between themselves and other riders and wearing cloth face coverings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s face coverings recommendation will help contain coughs and sneezes. Combined with proper hand washing, this will help to ensure your ride is a safe one.”
Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Examples of protective coverings are disposable masks, cloth masks, bandanas, or a scarf.
“We ask that those who are riding our buses for essential trips to not only protect themselves during this time, but also our drivers,“ said Brad Miller, PSTA CEO. “By wearing a protective covering, we can help slow the spread and keep our community safe.”
PSTA’s number one priority is the safety of its employees as well as its riders. Masks and gloves have been continually distributed to bus operators and other employees. The operator safety shields installed on most buses have proven helpful in enforcing distancing between drivers and passengers.
Last month, PSTA enhanced these efforts by suspending the collection of fares at the bus’s front door to reduce crowding and requiring patrons to use the bus’s back door.
In addition, PSTA bus operators have the discretion to limit the number of passengers on a bus to no more than 10 at any time and radio in requests for additional buses if needed to keep passengers separated. PSTA will station extra buses at peak boarding locations. These efforts will all reduce crowding and limit exposure to passengers and bus operators.
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