RTA Announces Participation in Nationwide Public Transit “Health and Safety Commitments” Program

Nov 20, 2020

Greater Cleveland RTA (GCRTA) Announces Participation in Nationwide Public Transportation Industry “Health and Safety Commitments” Program

Greater Cleveland RTA joins more than 100 public transit agencies across the country
ho are signing on to the program

Cleveland, November 20, 2020 – Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) 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. 

“We want our riders to know that we remain steadfastly committed to the health and safety of our passengers and operators. The stringent efforts we began back in March, before even one case of COVID-19 was reported in Ohio, are those we continue to adhere to every day,” said GCRTA CEO and General Manager India Birdsong. “No matter the challenges, we will not back down or back off of our efforts to fulfill our mission – to provide safe, reliable, clean and courteous public transportation.”

RTA has employed a number of safety measures including: 

  • Rigorous daily cleaning with a CDC-approved sanitizing disinfectant that kills the coronavirus on all touchable surfaces inside all vehicles as well as inside all GCRTA facilities, including rail stations, bus districts, bus shelters and transit centers.
  • Using ultraviolet disinfecting technology, the Moonbeam3, to clean high traffic areas, K-9 vehicles and rooms with highly sensitive electronic equipment. The Moonbeam3 is also used in response to an incident that requires a bus or train to be removed from service and disinfected immediately.
  • Installing plastic barriers to surround bus operators, positioned between customers and operators at the farebox.
  • Requiring all employees to wear face coverings while on board or on company property.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, GCRTA 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, GCRTA 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

RTA has pledged to meet these commitments by creating specific policies that are effective for our system, our riders, and our community. 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 GCRTA relies on riders to protect themselves and other customers, Birdsong said.

“This program is a commitment that this industry is making to all those we serve now and to those who we look forward to serving,” said Nuria I. Fernandez, APTA Chair, and General Manager and CEO of Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. “Public transportation is and will be vital to the social and economic recovery of our nation. But getting there requires us to win back our ridership and encourage new riders to view public transit as a preferred mobility choice. We believe this commitment program will help do this.”

“The program is the 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. “It is a logical extension of the innovation and commitment we have been demonstrating for the past several months – and it makes the need for at least $32 billion in additional emergency funding that much more urgent and critical.”

Media Contact:

Linda Krecic
216-390-9605 (cell)