Apr 2, 2020

CLEVELAND, OH – The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is taking additional measures to protect customers and employees from the spread of the coronavirus by adding ultra violet technology (UV-C) to its arsenal of disinfectant procedures.

Beginning next week, RTA will use the Moonbeam3 from Daylight Medical of Middleburg Heights to clean high traffic areas, K-9 vehicles and rooms with highly sensitive electronic equipment. The Moonbeam3 will also be used in response to an incident that requires a bus or train to be removed from service and disinfected immediately. RTA cleaning crews will also be able to use it to enhance their cleaning procedures at bus districts, rail stations and in office spaces.

“This unit is lightweight and mobile, so our staff can easily transport it to any site. It is safe and plugs into a standard wall outlet. The UV-C rays can disinfect a bus in less than an hour,” said Flounsay Caver, RTA’s Deputy General Manager of Operations.

The unit is especially effective for disinfecting vehicles used by Transit Police K-9 units, because chemical disinfectants are not well tolerated by the canines, Caver said.

Protective barriers and face masks

Last week, RTA installed plexiglass enclosures for booth attendants at Tower City Station to ensure distancing between customers and staff.

Additionally, RTA began allowing operators to wear face masks at their own discretion in early March. Now staff are volunteering their time to make face masks for front line staff.

“We have some of the most talented, industrious employees, and they are all pulling together to do everything they can to protect as many people as possible. We are on the front lines, with other public transit systems across the country, providing what both the state and federal authorities have deemed an essential public service,” said RTA CEO and General Manager India Birdsong

“That’s why we’re doing everything we can to meet the service demand, while keeping our customers and our staff safe,” she said.

Physical distancing reminders when on board vehicles

RTA is issuing an urgent reminder to the community about the extensive safety measures they have put in place to help keep riders and employees healthy in the fight against COVID-19’s spread.

RTA has enacted new measures to create physical distancing on board buses in order to protect both passengers and operators from the spread of the coronavirus.

Information posters are now on all vehicles stressing these physical distancing measures. RTA also has begun airing an audio message on all buses and trains asking riders to observe the following guidelines:

  • Maintain a distance between passengers of at least 6 feet
  • Limit conversations with others and the operator. If you must speak with the operator, please stand behind the yellow line
  • Exit from the rear of the vehicle

“We absolutely must be there for our community to take them to the grocery story, medical appointments, and to essential jobs,” said Birdsong. “Medical professionals use the HealthLine to get to hospitals, grocery workers need to get to stores where they work to restock shelves. Thousands of Clevelanders still rely on public transit to get to their places of employment every day, and we are committed to getting them there as we all fight the spread of coronavirus together.”

RTA was one of the first transit system in Ohio to enact new, enhanced cleaning protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19 on buses, trains and paratransit vehicles, she said. The new protocols were rolled out on March 9.

“We are unrelenting in our daily bus and train disinfecting protocol. We continue to disinfect every bus and train every 24 hours, but now, we’ve added the UV-C technology, which offers an additional measure.  We continue to use a cleaning agent recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at all our properties, Transit Centers and all RTA public facilities, bus districts, train stations and office buildings,” Birdsong said.

RTA continues to closely monitor the Governor and the Ohio Department of Health’s daily safety recommendations and those of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“I want to thank all of our employees for their commitment and dedication. They report for work every day and faithfully get people where they need to be on time. We want everyone in this region to know we’re here for you, and we’re doing everything we can to keep ourselves healthy so we can get you where you need to be, when you need to be there,” Birdsong said.

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