Pace joins over 100 public transit agencies across the country in signing on.
Pace Suburban Bus Announces Participation in Nationwide Transit Industry “Health and Safety Commitments” Program
Pace Suburban Bus 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.
Pace’s most important priority is the health and safety of passengers and operators. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Pace 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, Pace 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
Pace 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 Pace relies on riders to protect themselves and other customers.
“We are proud to join other transit agencies in committing to keep our passengers and operators safe while we serve them,” said Rocky Donahue, Pace’s Executive Director. “We know we serve a critical need in our region, as even at the height of the pandemic, 30% of our riders still used us to get to essential jobs, grocery stores, and pharmacies. That’s why a healthy, safe transit system is our top priority.”
Pace is committed to continually addressing and implementing pillars of the Program. Pace continues to:
- Follow enhanced cleaning procedures based on CDC and IDPH recommendations
- Reallocate buses from underutilized routes to busy routes to keep passenger loads low
- Modify vehicles to encourage social distancing on board
- Maintain an online communications portal and real-time alert system at PaceBus.com to keep passengers informed
“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. “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 being launched today is the public transportation 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.”