Guidance For Transportation in the City of St. Louis

Guidelines for transportation operating protocols in the City of St. Louis

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Guidance for Transportation in the City of St. Louis PDF

Over the past several weeks we have collaborated with public health officials and providers of transportation services in the St. Louis region to create guidelines for businesses in this sector to operate in a safe and responsible fashion.  A working group of transportation leaders was assembled including representatives from St. Louis Lambert International Airport, St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, Amtrak, Enterprise, Lyft, Vandalia Bus Lines and Bi-State Development who understand the operational complexities of running transportation services in the present environment.

The recommendations contained herein do not supersede Public Health orders, laws or regulations that apply to your business and jurisdiction.

The goal of the protocols outlined in the document is to minimize contact reducing the risk of virus spread among both staff and riders.   The core set of principles that together prevent the spread of infections by respiratory transmission (including COVID-19) include:

  1. Practice social distancing – must maintain 6 feet of space between and among employees and guests
  2. Monitor employee health – ensure your employees are in good health and displaying no symptoms when they are at work
  3. Use protective equipment – a fabric face cover must always be worn by employees and guests
  4. Clean/sanitize/disinfect – wash and sanitize hands, and wipe down frequently touched surfaces with EPA-approved disinfectant (Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants.)

General Responsibilities for Employers & Staff

  • Promote Healthy Hygiene Practices
    • Enforce everyday preventive actions such as hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and use of a cloth face covering by employees when around others, as safety permits. Provide employees with appropriate equipment, including face coverings or supplies to make a face covering. Communicate with the public about the importance of hygiene, covering coughs and sneezes, and using cloth face coverings while using mass transportation, including posting signs in transit stations and vehicles on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering.
    • Provide reasonable employee breaks throughout the day for handwashing.
    • Provide adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors for transit operators, employees, and passengers in stations, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol, tissues and no-touch trash cans.
  • Cleaning, Disinfection and Ventilation
    • If taking public transportation to work, employees will wear protective masks, practice social distancing, use hand sanitizer and avoid other commuters.
    • Staff should always wash hands when arriving at and before leaving the worksite using warm water (at least 100°F) and soap for at least 20 seconds.Alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 70% alcohol may also be used when a wash station is not available.
    • Using EPA-certified products, clean, sanitize, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (for example, kiosks, digital interfaces such as touchscreens and fingerprint scanners, ticket machines, turnstiles, handrails, restroom surfaces, elevator buttons) at least twice daily.
    • Clean, sanitize, and disinfect the operator area between operator shifts.
    • Use touchless payment and no-touch trash cans and doors as much as possible, when available. Ask customers and employees to exchange cash or credit cards by placing in a receipt tray or on the counter rather than by hand and wipe any pens, counters or hard surfaces between each use or customer.
    • Avoid using or sharing items that are not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected, such as disposable transit maps.
    • Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants.
    • Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash and wash hands afterwards.
    • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, or other methods. Do not open windows and doors if they pose a safety risk to passengers or employees, or other vulnerable individuals.
    • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.
  • Ensure Social Distancing
    • Institute measures to physically separate or create distance of at least six feet between all occupants. This may include:
      • Asking bus passengers to enter and exit the bus through rear doors, while allowing exceptions for persons with disabilities.
      • Closing every other row of seats.
      • Reduce maximum occupancy of buses and individual subway and train cars and increase service on crowded routes, as appropriate.
      • Provide physical guides to ensure that customers remain at least six feet apart while on vehicles and at transit stations and stops. For example, floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate where passengers should not sit or stand can be used to guide passengers.
      • Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions at staffed kiosks and on transit vehicles to the extent practicable.
      • Close communal spaces, such as break rooms, if possible; otherwise, stagger use and clean and disinfect in between uses.Train employees and post signage to avoid congregating in any communal areas that must remain open.
  • Monitoring Employee Health
    • Upon arrival at work, employees must be masked, and employers must conduct health checks (e.g., temperature and symptom screening) of employees at the start of each shift.  Conduct health checks safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations. Confidentiality should be respected. Employers may use examples of screening methods in CDC’s General Business FAQs as a guide. 
      • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, muscle aches, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
      • Screening should include 1) a temperature check if it can be performed with a touchless thermometer, 2) asking about the presence of new or worsened cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell and 3) asking if the employee has had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
      • Employees with a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or above, or who answer yes to any of the screening questions must not be allowed to enter the workplace.Employees who develop any symptoms of respiratory illness while at work must immediately be sent home.
      • Employees with symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for additional guidance.
    • Employees who are sent home with symptoms should not return to work until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation or they have been cleared to return by their healthcare provider.
    • If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, work with local health agencies to ensure all employees and customers who can be identified as having had close contact while the employee was infectious are contacted.While awaiting formal investigation, compile a list of employees, customers, or other people known to be in close contact with the person diagnosed with COVID-19.Employees identified as having close contact should be immediately sent home or told not to come into work until the investigation has been conducted.
    • If an employee develops any of the COVID-19 screening symptoms while at work, they should immediately go home.  If they are unable to immediately leave while awaiting transportation, they should keep their face covering on and move as far away from other employees or customers as possible, always maintaining 6 feet of distance.  Symptomatic employees should avoid public transportation on their way home if possible.   If no other transportation is available, using a taxi or ride share service is preferable to buses or trains to minimize the number of people potentially exposed. 
    • Close off areas recently used by an employee or customer who has tested positive for COVID-19 and do not reuse them until after cleaning and disinfection. Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants.
    • Covered employers and employees should be aware of the provisions of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which allows for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons, such as for self-quarantining or seeking a medical diagnosis for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Maintain Healthy Operations
    • Implement flexible sick leave and other flexible policies and practices, if feasible.
    • Monitor absenteeism of employees and create a roster of trained back-up staff.
    • Designate a staff person to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Employees and customers should know who this person is and how to contact them.
    • Create and test communication systems for employees and customers for self-reporting of symptoms and notification of exposures and closures.
    • Customer facing staff members should be given training or verbal tools to address customers not complying with regulations or intentionally spreading germs. Travelers intentionally spreading germs or creating fear of the virus spread should be reported to management and/or authorities as appropriate.
    • Employers should have the same team members working the same shifts whenever possible. This allows for containment and contact tracing in case of contamination or an employee testing positive.
    • If a guest displays signs of, or says they have symptoms suspicious for, COVID-19, they should be asked not to use the transportation service if at all possible.  If this is not possible, then the guest must wear a face covering and sit as far as possible away from others for the duration of the trip. 

Stations and Transportation Hubs

  • Any ticket counters, informational booths, or desks where travelers interact directly with staff should be protected by physical barriers like plexiglass whenever possible. Otherwise, travelers should use physical distancing and have as little interaction as possible. Kiosks or machines used to purchase tickets or check bags should be sanitized regularly.
  • Furniture should be strategically arranged to provide appropriate distancing of 6’ to assist guests in maintaining distance.Public seating or waiting areas should be regularly sanitized throughout the day.
  • On arrival, in a station, airport or other enclosed transportation hub, signage should be prevalent throughout the premises, reminding travelers not to use transportation if they are having symptoms of COVID-19, and to practice social distancing by standing at least six feet away from other groups of people not traveling with them while standing in line or using elevators.
  • No more than three people at a time should ride in an elevator together.
  • Stations should make regular announcements or reminders to travelers to follow social distancing protocols. This includes all announcements before boarding the vehicle or at the start of the trip itself. Travelers should be encouraged to be conscious of wait times and not linger in public areas longer than necessary.
  • The station should place hand sanitizer at key guest encounter points, such as entrance, front desk, elevator banks, seating areas, entrances to restaurants and snack bars, and guests should be advised to use regularly. Wipes should also be available for guests to sanitize items or seating before use.
  • Restrooms should be cleaned and disinfected regularly using EPA-recommended disinfectants, particularly high-touch surfaces such as faucets, toilets, doorknobs, and light switches.Make sure restrooms are regularly stocked with supplies for handwashing, including soap and materials for drying hands or hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol. High touch areas should be cleaned and disinfected frequently
  • In the event a line forms, please have a plan to ensure that waiting parties remain separated by 6 feet.Mark every 6 feet in distribution lines with chalk, tape, cement decals, etc.

Public Transportation

  • Riders two and over must wear a face mask and avoid direct contact with others. Maintain physical distancing as much as possible.
  • Physical barriers between operators and travelers is strongly recommended.
  • Upon boarding a vehicle such as a bus or train, staff should direct travelers to avoid contact with operators as much as possible. This includes using any rear or alternative entrances to the vehicle.
  • All vehicles should be restricted to maximum seating capacity that enables 6’ of separation between passengers. This may mean delays for travelers who have not purchased a ticket or been assigned a seat in advance.
  • All vehicles should be regularly cleaned and disinfected before/after each trip or completion of route. Cleaning supplies for that day should be provided to any operators or staff working on the vehicle.

Personal Transportation

Vehicle Rental

  • Physical rental locations must obey social distancing guidelines and maintain minimum of 6 feet when waiting in line. In the event a line of customers forms, please have a plan to ensure that waiting parties remain separated by 6 feet.Mark every 6 feet in distribution lines with chalk, tape, cement decals, etc.
  • Interactions with staff should be limited as much as possible upon pick up and returning of vehicles. Consider the use of plexiglass barriers at check-in counters.
  • All vehicles must be thoroughly disinfected before/after every rental using EPA-certified cleaners.
  • Staff handling or transporting vehicles to customers must wear a facial covering when driving vehicles.
  • Rental customers should wipe down common touch locations during the course of their rental.

Rideshare/Taxis

  • Drivers and riders must wear face coverings at all times.
  • Opening windows when possible during rides is recommended to allow for increased air flow.
  • Physical interaction should be restricted between drivers and passengers as much as possible. This includes avoiding physical greeting such as handshakes and sitting in the front passenger seat.
  • Shared rides should be avoided between passengers that are not all from the same party.
  • Surfaces and door handles should be cleaned with disinfecting products frequently. Riders should wash hands thoroughly after leaving the vehicle.
  • Sharing of items such as phone chargers, water, candy or other giveaways is not recommended.

Restaurants & Food Vendors

  • Please refer to Restaurant Protocols for complete information and operational guidance for food and beverage service.

Payment & Transactions

  • Limit physical contact with others as much as possible.
  • A plexiglass barrier would help with separation.If a line forms, 6 feet of separation must be maintained with chalk marks or decals on the floor.
  • Cash transactions or tips are not recommended in favor of adding a gratuity to credit card payments.If cash is transferred, the driver should wash their hands after accepting.
  • Practice contactless transfers by placing items down on a counter for the customer to pick up.

 

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