RTA cleaning buses at least every 24 hours after concerns of coronavirus

Posted at 3:31 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 23:20:00-05

CLEVELAND — The RTA is implementing an enhanced cleaning protocol of all its buses and trains.

The RTA said it will start disinfecting efforts on 400 buses, 100 train cars and at multiple facilities on Monday March 8, even though as of March 5, there has still not been a confirmed case of the virus in Ohio.

Officials said they are doing it in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

They said they will clean all touchable surfaces on board its vehicles with a cleaning agent recommended by the CDC.

RTA Spokeswoman Linda Scardilli-Krecic told News 5 additional overtime hours will be used conduct touch surface disinfecting that will require every RTA bus is wiped down at least once every 24 hours.

“It’s not time to be afraid, It’s not time to panic, but it is time to be prepared,” Scardilli-Krecic said.

“85% of our riders use the bus, that’s why we’re cleaning those every 24 hours.”

“We started with our own bus operators, and our rail operators, providing them disinfectant wipes, so they can clean their own work surfaces, things that they touch throughout the day.”

Scardilli-Krecic said it's also on riders to be part of the solution in using common sense ways to reduce the spread of germs as they make their daily commute.

“Keep their hands clean, wash their hands, if they have to cough or sneeze, do it in their elbow," Scardilli-Krecic said.

"Keep their face away, if they have to use a Kleenex, use it, but then throw it away.”

Scardilli-Krecic said CDC data indicates consistent hand washing can reduce the spread of disease by up to 50%, and that 30% of Americans still do not wash their hands throughout the day.

“We want our riders to know that we will clean every bus, every day and that it’s safe to ride RTA. Our mission is to provide safe, reliable, clean and courteous public transportation. With the public’s concern of the spread of this virus, we’re pleased to announce that we’re taking this additional step,” said RTA CEO and General Manager India Birdsong.

RTA officials are also stepping up efforts to inform their employees of ways to keep themselves healthy.

“We’ve met with our bus and rail district employees and have sent communications to all our staff, because we want them to know that it’s important that they keep themselves healthy, for their own sake, and so that we can stay on the job and available to the riding public. We each have a critical role to play in helping to keep Cleveland moving. Our customers rely on us every day to get to where they need to go,” Birdsong said.

To learn more, click here.

RELATED: How to prepare for COVID-19

What Happened Now?