maintenance worker cleaning bus
What is VTA Doing in Response to COVID-19?
03/06/2020
Brandi Childress

Updated on March 17 to provide more information on VTA’s enhanced cleaning efforts:

VTA continues to closely monitor the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (also known as COVID-19), staying in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

We understand how news of the virus is causing stress and anxiety, especially as it relates to travel and public spaces. We cannot stress enough how important it is for individuals to take precautions and responsibility for their own well-being to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Any public space creates an opportunity for exposure to respiratory viruses, which is why it’s important to review the best way to prevent infection. Of course, avoiding exposure is the primary way. In addition, here are some other precautions being recommended by the CDC:

  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve, or arm. Do not use your hands.
  • If you are sick, PLEASE stay home.

What is VTA doing?

VTA has issued a memo regarding Sanitary Workplace and Vehicle Cleaning Instructions. This work instruction applies to all Service Workers and Mechanics at all VTA Operating Divisions who are implementing specific cleaning procedures that are intended to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The CDC has recommended frequent, routine cleaning of surfaces which aligns with our protocols. Each day, VTA buses and light rail vehicles are cleaned during daily servicing, removing routine dirt and debris. In addition, Service Workers wipe down the interior and frequently touched surfaces are disinfected using CDC-approved cleaning products. 

Enhanced cleaning efforts now include: 

  • A more detailed cleaning each day when the buses pull into the operating divisions;
  • There is a station at each bus yard for operators to do additional wipe down of surfaces as they begin their routes.
  • Road call mechanics responding to calls (or if they are on standby) are being provided with cleaning supplies to wipe down surfaces.
  • Cleaning crews at the end of each light rail line wiping down surfaces when the trains turn around to start their route again.

Access Paratransit Customers

MV Transportation is responsible for operating, the cleaning and upkeep of the paratransit Access vehicles for VTA. We are working hand in hand to be consistent with information sharing and vehicle cleaning efforts which include:

  • Daily cleaning of heavily touched interiors (i.e. dashboards, steering wheels, railings, seats, seatbelts, etc.) 
  • Drivers are also provided cleaning supplies so that areas that may be of concern after a ride can be decontaminated throughout the day.
  • Deep interior cleaning is occurring twice a month (current contract specifies once per month).
  • Drivers are being provided safety tips daily to ensure they are following the CDC recommended healthy habits (frequent hand washing, not touching face, etc.)

What can you do?

Our goal is to keep our employees and riders informed on how best to stay healthy and prevent exposure to viruses. VTA employees are receiving ongoing updates and tools (like gloves and travel hand sanitizer) to reduce exposure. Additionally, hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed at all work divisions.

Customer information and updates are being shared through various channels including:

  • our website and social media;
  • on board announcements;
  • printed collateral onboard vehicles;
  • signage at light rail station platforms and our customer service centers;
  • reminders on our WiFi page when customers log on and through our VTAlerts app.

People who think they may have been exposed to Coronavirus should contact their healthcare provider immediately. For the latest health information regarding Coronavirus, visit the Santa Clara County Public Health website at www.sccphd.org/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov.

VTA remains in regular contact with the regional Operations Area of the state’s Office of Emergency Services and any additional response would be made in coordination with those organizations.

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