As an additional step to enhance the ride for customers, VTA will soon have hand sanitizer and mask dispensers on board buses and light rail trains. While face coverings have been mandated for several months and most people are complying, individually wrapped masks will be available if a customer has no other option. The hand sanitizer is dispensed as foam that evaporates quickly if any of it spills. Paratransit vehicles are already equipped with hand sanitizer and masks available for riders who may be without one.
In July, VTA rolled out its 10-Point Plan to Strengthen Trust in Transit focusing on many health-related items, including point 6: Protect Operators and Passengers. Providing hand sanitizer and masks makes good on that commitment, especially now that fares are being collected again. VTA is also one of the transit operators in the nine Bay Area counties that together unveiled a common set of standards based upon the industry’s best health-related practices last week.
The dispensers will be prioritized for the large articulated buses (that have an extension attached with an accordion-like connector) since they receive the most use. Vehicles could start rolling out with these dispensers installed as early the first week of September, depending upon when the hard-to-get supplies are received. VTA operations staff is able to install them quickly as they come in.