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TARTA adds protective plastic dividers to buses to minimize contact

Drivers feel this is needed not only for their safety, but also for rider safety during the pandemic.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Bus drivers are among the group of people deemed "essential workers" during this pandemic. TARTA is taking additional steps to make their buses more social distance friendly. Clear curtains have been added to all buses, so drivers have another layer of protection. 

"We take this very seriously in terms of being a safe transportation choice," said TARTA Communications Director, Laura Koprowski. 

Koprowski said drivers feel this is needed not only for their safety, but also for rider safety. Last week, a TARTA employee tested positive for COVID-19. Although that employee did not interact with riders, officials still felt the need to address the situation properly.

"In early April we were the first transit system in Ohio to mandate facial coverings on our vehicles and we had great support from the community," said Koprowski.

All TARTA buses and vehicles are cleaned between shifts and overnight in the garage to make sure drivers and riders feel safe. TARTA is not currently charging for rides, in order to eliminate the spread of germs on fare boxes. Additionally, the downtown transit hub is currently closed in order to keep all riders outside. 

The curtains on their buses are expected to become a somewhat permanent part of TARTA buses moving forward.