Changes made to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 outbreak
RTD has made extensive changes to its security procedures during COVID-19 emergency operations in order to provide maximum safety protection for passengers and operators.
Operators and their families have expressed concern about unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus, and potential security risks with passengers not having to pay fares or choosing to “shelter in place” on buses and trains because they are experiencing homelessness. To combat concerns about people lingering on buses, the RTD Security Team will uphold the Customer Code of Conduct, which stipulates there is to be no sleeping on vehicles, taking up more than one seat, or eating or drinking, and that all passengers must deboard at the final end point. If not, they will be asked to exit or be subject to trespassing.
And, more than 100,000 passengers a day still depend on RTD to deliver them safely to essential jobs, healthcare settings, daily-living errands including the grocery store, and more. RTD continues its safety-first approach to transit despite the challenges of operating under COVID-19 health recommendations, and we want to share with our employees and the public the steps we have taken:
- Fare collection has been suspended – by cash, tickets and passes – in order to reduce both operator and passenger exposure.
- Rear-door boarding and exiting on buses has been instituted whenever possible in order to further reduce operator exposure and allow passengers to disperse inside the bus more easily.
- Street supervisors and security patrols have been tasked with monitoring routes to see which ones might approach capacity for six-foot separation of passengers. Once the new COVID-19 service plan begins, Operations can allocate more buses to the routes that have crowding.
- Denver security officers are patrolling the Union Station Bus Terminal throughout the day.
- More security are at end-of-line stations to ensure passengers leave the vehicles at the end of a route or line as required, in order to prevent unsafe sheltering on RTD vehicles.
- More internal security officers are out patrolling the streets to check on routes and be more available during challenging situations.
- We are reminding our operators to never engage in physical contact with passengers, immediately report any concerning issues to dispatch, and to be vigilant of passenger actions so that they can call for assistance for any end-of-line deboarding issues.
Now more than ever, “safety first” is the daily operating procedure at RTD, and we encourage ongoing communication from passengers and employees about how to continue improving operations during this national crisis. We are proud of our employees reporting to work every day to provide a vital transportation service for the residents of the metro area.