Metro Transit addresses concerns on compliance with COVID-19 guidelines on buses, trains

Brett Hoffland
Updated: December 04, 2020 06:16 PM
Created: December 04, 2020 04:17 PM

Some Metro Transit riders say they're concerned not enough is being done to enforce COVID-19 rules on buses and trains. 

Metro Transit officials addressed those concerns and talked about what is being done to keep riders safe and healthy.

"I ride the train every other day," said Damian Pelletier, who lives in Minneapolis. 

Right now, public transportation is only for essential trips.

"It's my source of transportation for work and everything else I do in life," said Jamesia Loggins, who lives in Minneapolis. 

Loggins lives downtown, and she's noticed big changes on the light rail since the pandemic began.

"It's less people around that are riding the train," Loggins said. 

One of the most obvious changes is the face-covering requirement on buses and trains.

"It's very important, it's the number one thing to do," Loggins said. 

Pelletier tries to do his part to encourage others to put one on.

"I don't get upset but I'll make a joke, hey let's not forget about COVID, I'll make it kind of sarcastic so it doesn't make them feel angry about it, but I'll say hey next time maybe a mask," Pelletier said. 

Metro Transit: 'Masks are a must!'

"If you're refusing to put a mask on, you might be asked to leave the vehicle," said Howie Padilla, spokesman for Metro Transit. 

There are also plenty of safety reminders on trains, buses and platforms. 

Padilla says they're adjusting service based on demand, and bus capacity is limited.

"Right now on our 40-foot buses, we want no more than 10 people, 10 passengers if we can have that. On the longer ones 15," Padilla said. 

But some are upset when they see people not following the guidelines.

"The younger generation doesn't seem to care," Pelletier said.  

"Some people just don't listen, it's upsetting," Loggins said. 

Padilla stresses fines will be enforced, but aren't the first step. He says operators are calling into the control center if they see riders not complying. Plus there are real-time cameras on trains.

"Our police department is piloting a system where they can look at those cameras in real-time and if they see where there is a group of people not wearing a mask, they can dispatch officers there," Padilla said.

While a trip on public transportation may not feel normal right now, many don't have any other option.

"I'm very thankful, I'm very grateful," Loggins said.

For more information on Metro Transit's COVID-19 guidelines visit the link here

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