Franklin Transit Authority announced it 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.
The health and safety of passengers and operators are the most important priorities for Franklin Transit Authority. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Franklin Transit Authority 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, Franklin Transit Authorityand the public transit industry are actively working to instill confidence in riders that they are committed to protecting their riders’ 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
Franklin Transit Authority has pledged to meet these commitments by creating specific policies that are effective for the system, riders and community. A key component of the Health and Safety Commitments Program is the shared responsibility of the system and riders to follow the guidelines. Riders rely on the transit agency to follow these commitments, and Franklin Transit Authority relies on riders to protect themselves and other customers.
“We are committed to the health and safety of our passengers, drivers, and the community we serve,” said Debbie Henry, Franklin Transit executive director. “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have worked untiringly in providing a safe transit environment for our riders. We applaud the national work of APTA and are honored to be part of the Health and Safety Commitments Program.”
Franklin Transit Authorityis committed to continually addressing and implementing pillars of the program. Current actions include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Keeping transit vehicles clean, sanitized, disinfected daily
• Closely monitoring and following updated policies and practices from official public health experts and agencies
• Helping riders practice social distancing and requiring face coverings on board and in the transit building
• Updating riders regarding the status of service
• Requiring all transit personnel to use face coverings and closely monitor their individual health status
“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 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.”