The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends that people wear face coverings in public settings to slow the spread of COVID-19. Since the beginning of July, Valley Metro has required all riders to wear them on board or when waiting to board a vehicle.
For many of us, face coverings weren't a necessity in early 2020. However, as the year closes and the COVID-19 pandemic continues, they are an absolute must-have item. Even so, there are many people who don't have access to face coverings, and thanks to Valley Metro's customer experience coordinators (CECs), they are helping ensure that riders have a safer commute. Read about other ways the CECs have helped the community.
To help spread the word and provide face coverings to passengers who may need them, the customer experience coordinators hold tabling events to distribute them to riders. The face coverings were provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Transit Administration.
During an event on November 20 at the 44th St/Washington light rail station, CEC Christel Calvin informed riders of the free face coverings. Announcements were made on the public address system at every station, indicating the location and time of the giveaway event.
To wear one properly, a face covering should cover the rider’s nose and mouth. Children under two years old should not wear one. For those riders who don’t understand the reasons behind wearing face coverings, the CECs can help educate them. “Remember, your mask protects me and mine protects you. Thank you for respecting the ride,” said Calvin using a handheld microphone. Some riders may not be able to wear face coverings for medical reasons, and although it’s required to wear one if you can, riders who are not wearing a mask will not be removed or prevented from boarding.
CECs Laronda Wood and Sebit Kueth walked through each railcar and hand delivered face coverings in small plastic bags to riders. If you missed the opportunity to get a free face covering, visit https://www.valleymetro.org/covid-19 for a list of additional locations where you can pick one up.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Valley Metro has implemented safety precautions based on the guidelines provided by the CDC. Some changes were made as a result of suggestions from a rider survey.
As 2020 nears its end, Valley Metro will continue to follow CDC guidelines for safety. Valley Metro Communications Manager Susan Tierney says, “We will be going back out to our riders to do another survey in early 2021, just to measure how we are doing. It is important for us to get feedback so that we know what makes riders feel safe.”