TOPEKA, KANSAS (May 19, 2020) — At the Topeka Metro May board meeting, board members approved to extend the no-fare policy that was implemented March 25, as well as rear door bus entry. Both measures have been taken to improve social distancing inside the buses.
Topeka Metro General Manager Bob Nugent said, “Topeka Metro has carefully considered options to keep both our employees and our passengers safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. This will be the third time since March we have decided to make the fares no-cost, which will help having less close contact with others while still providing service. We will evaluate again toward the end of June.”
Nugent said, “We have recently added barriers and safety chains in the front of the bus on all fixed route buses to create distance between our drivers and passengers. In addition, we have made sanitizing wipes available on all of our fixed route buses for use by our passengers.”
“Per the Board’s directive, two ‘ambussadors’ started Monday, May 18, and will work through the end of June 2020. Their purpose is outreach regarding safety information for passengers who are either waiting for or riding the bus. They also assist in wiping down touchable surfaces in the bus when a bus is stopped at the bus station or another inbound location.”
Nugent said that public transit has always been an essential service and has proven how important it is to the community during a time of a pandemic.
“There are people who ride our buses to work in most all aspects of our community such as grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and hospitals, to name a few. These are folks who must go to work, and Topeka Metro has been there for them. We want to make sure we’re doing everything possible to keep them and our employees as safe as possible,” said Nugent.