MTD workers clean and disinfect a city bus after hours. An additional team has been brought in to aid with the sterilization. Photo courtesy of Hillary Blackerby, MTD. (Hillary Blackerby)
MTD workers clean and disinfect a city bus after hours. An additional team has been brought in to aid with the sterilization. Photo courtesy of Hillary Blackerby, MTD.

Hillary Blackerby

MTD takes additional precautions in response to COVID-19 concerns

March 13, 2020

As fears of COVID-19 reaching Santa Barbara County continue, public transit serves as the perfect vehicle to spread the virus.

Hundreds of people rely on the city’s MTD system to commute to work, school or simply to get from point A to point B. 

A press release sent out by the MTD Planning and Marketing Manager Hillary Blackerby stated that the Santa Barbara MTD has been taking “additional precautions to protect bus riders and the MTD workforce.” 

In order to combat the transmission of the virus, workers have been incorporating additional disinfecting procedures to their nightly cleaning duties. 

“They’re hitting all the high-touch surfaces,” said Blackerby. “They’re working very hard to get it done.” 

Door handles, fareboxes, handles and railings are all areas considered to be “high-touch,” and are being heavily cleaned by “hospital grade material.” 

An additional cleaning crew has been brought in to aid with the sterilization. 

As of now, all buses continue to run on a normal schedule. However, Blackerby said that if more campuses continue to follow the nationwide trend of shutting down, adjustments will be made. 

She also said the MTD is following Santa Barbara County Public Health Department orders very closely. 

Following the closure of UCSB, there has been a slight decline in ridership, but Blackerby said it is too soon to tell if this trend will continue.

“We encourage our riders to use smart public health practices,” Blackerby said. “Stay at home if you’re sick, wash your hands, cough into the crook of your elbow.” 

Check back with The Channels as we continue to cover the impact the coronavirus has on public transportation. 

 

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