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Government establishes public transportation protocol for COVID-19

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Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2020. 5:31 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Department of Transport has been working closely with the Ministry of Health to address the challenges of COVID-19 in order to safeguard and protect the health of the public.

The following protocols have been put in place by the Department of Transport:

1. The public is advised to report over-crowding of public transportation, including buses, busitos, “dalla vans”, taxis, and water taxis. Report all cases to 610-8163.

2. Daily commuters are encouraged to take alternative buses in the morning and evening to avoid travel during rush hours. Employers are encouraged to be flexible with working hours to accommodate their staff as this situation continues to evolve.

3. The public is advised with immediate effect that commuters are required to board and exit buses in an orderly fashion. Note that the peak hours for workers are at 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

4. ALL transportation operators are required to clean and sanitize their buses, vans, boats, etc. before and after each run.

5. Public transport service is limited to seated passengers only. Bus operators/drivers shall not transport excess passengers. Transporting standing passengers is a traffic violation and the Department of Transport will enforce the law to its fullest. (Anyone standing will be taken off the bus and the driver will be ticketed.)

6. Bus operators are required to provide additional buses during rush hours.

Note that these rules also apply to water taxis.

The public is encouraged to plan ahead and consider travelling outside rush hours where possible in an effort to promote social distancing.

Social distancing is one of the recommendations of the World Health Organization that can reduce the possibility of person-to-person virus transmission.

While the Department of Transport has increased monitoring and has mandated bus companies to increase cleaning efforts, the public is also urged to take extra precautions.

If experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms, it is strongly encouraged to stay at home and avoid travel. Practicing good hand hygiene by washing hands frequently is crucial and will protect each individual, fellow commuters and transport staff. It is advised to take the necessary measures to prevent this dreadful and deadly virus.

The Department’s priority is the safety of all passengers, staff, and the continuity of services.

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