By Raymond Suarez
We’re excited to welcome our riders back to transit! At DCTA, our top priorities are keeping our passengers and employees healthy and ensure a safe commute for all during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Even though some may be skeptical of returning to transit, according to new studies featured in The New York Times, public transit is safer than most think as these studies suggest that riding public transportation is not a major source of transmission for COVID-19.
You can commute with confidence with DCTA knowing that we’ve diligently worked with our many partners and staff to keep our many communities pressing forward and helping prevent the spread of illness. Below are key areas that highlight DCTA’s commitment to a safe commute:
Enhanced Cleanings and Safety Procedures
DCTA has worked diligently during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic keep its passengers and employees healthy and ensure a safe commute for our riders. Below are specific safety precautions and measures DCTA has put into place include:
- Requirement of wearing a face-covering (covering your nose and mouth).
- Practicing social distancing (maintaining a 6-foot separation between yourself and others).
- Regular washing of hands and use of hand sanitizer.
- All buses and trains are receiving additional cleanings using a medical-grade disinfecting cleaner, as well as a daily spray down using a broad-spectrum disinfectant that is effective against a range of microorganisms for an extended period of time.
- Additional cleaning (using medical-grade disinfectant) is being placed on high-touch areas such as door handles, crew rooms, countertops, driver consoles, and steering wheels.
- All non-essential personnel are operating under a work-from-home policy.
- Operators are provided personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies with each shift including gloves, disinfectant wipes, masks, and facial tissues.
- Operators are also welcomed to bring their own facial cloth covering for additional protection.
- Management is enforcing social distancing in operator crew rooms and administrative facilities.
- Internal processes that require close-proximity and engagement have been adjusted to limit prolonged personal interaction and the spread of germs.
- Installation of clear vinyl protection barriers in each bus to provide separation between the operator and boarding passengers/fare box.
- Use of Far UV-Sterilray technology to sanitize all driver consoles inside buses.
- No-touch thermometers are also being used to monitor temperatures of essential staff upon reporting for duty to further protect our passengers.
Gratitude to Partners in Moving our Communities Forward
At DCTA, we’re thankful for our local, regional and federal partners for their commitment to provide aid and supplies, strategic guidance and support during these difficult times to keep our communities pressing forward on the road to recovery. Below are key highlights of partnership opportunities that have made a difference in Denton County:
- United Way, DCTA and Denton County Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) distribution – during summer 2020, all three organizations worked together to provide and distribute critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to Denton County nonprofits to help keep their employees, volunteers and clients safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. An estimated 225,000 surgical masks were provided to approximately 50 nonprofit organizations across Denton County, along with gloves and hand sanitizer that was donated by Mary Kay as needed. DCTA delivered the surgical masks to local nonprofits to help them as they continue to assist Denton County residents.
- $23.4 Million CARES Act Funds for COVID-19 Impact – DCTA received funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which provided the agency with access to valuable financial resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds can be used for capital expenses and costs necessary to operate, maintain and manage DCTA’s transit system in response to COVID-19, including expenses for personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies.
DCTA will continue to operate as an essential business. We appreciate everyone’s support and partnership with us to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 illness.