Ridership down, CapMetro driver attendance up during coronavirus pandemic

CapMetro has seen a decrease in ridership over the past couple of days, and as concerns over COVID-19 continues to develop, service cuts may become a possibility.

Airline flights are limited but ground transportation has operated as usual. CapMetro Chief Operating Officer Dottie Watkins said public transit hasn't experienced any shortages. "All of the front line folks who work for CapMetro are wonderful human beings we have actually seen better attendance in the last few days," said Watkins.


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Going the extra mile, Watkins said the agency sanitizes buses every night but began using hospital-grade disinfectant weeks ago. "We sprayed it on anything where people would use their hands," Watkins said. "We are doing the same with our trains and our demand response vehicles and MetroAccess so we are doing it across the entire fleet."

Along with sanitation, CapMetro is urging riders and drivers to exercise good hygiene practices.

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"Our drivers are in a difficult spot because they are dealing with the public every day," said Watkins. "The number one thing we are doing is reminding not just our riders but our drivers that if they are not feeling well they should just stay home."

As healthcare professionals continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic, Watkins said CapMetro's operations may change over time.

"We are anticipating the possibility of service cuts in the future and operating at reducing service levels and we are doing a lot of planning and analysis around those possibilities now," Watkins said.

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