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RTA to start cleaning trains every 24 hours as part of enhanced disinfecting plan for coronavirus

Buses and paratransit vehicles will also be disinfected every 24 hours

CLEVELAND — The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) says it has allocated additional resources to enable the cleaning of trains every 24 hours in response to concerns about coronavirus. 

Last week the RTA rolled out its plan to enhance its cleaning program for all buses, trains, and paratransit vehicles. The plan, which begins on Monday, calls for RTA staff to clean all touchable surfaces on board its vehicles with a cleaning agent recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

RELATED: RTA announces enhanced disinfecting plan for vehicles in response to coronavirus concerns

Buses, which carry 85% of the system’s riders, will be sanitized at least every 24 hours, along with paratransit vehicle. Rail cars initally were to be sanitized every 72 hours, but will now be cleaned every 24 hours as well.

“We want our riders to know that we will clean every bus, and now every train, every day and that it’s safe to ride RTA. We've had very positive feedback from riders as we've prioritized our mission to provide safe, reliable, clean and courteous public transportation. With the public’s concern of the spread of this virus, we’re pleased to announce that we’re taking this additional step with both rail and bus,” said RTA CEO and General Manager India Birdsong in a statement.

RTA says that other transit systems, including the MTA in New York, began a similar cleaning protocol for its buses and trains last week.  

"We want to emphasize to our customers and our employees that there is no need to panic or be fearful," Birdsong added. "Here in Cleveland, the RTA is following the guidelines issued by the Cleveland Health Department and the CDC that are applicable to this region. Now is the time to take preventative measures, and there are simple methods you can employ to keep yourself and others around you, healthy. This is a community effort. We’re asking customers to follow the preventative measures outlined by the CDC, and we’re asking our employees to do the same.”

RELATED: City of Cleveland provides update on coronavirus preparation

RTA is also reminding customers and employees of the following:

  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer when available
  • Data shows that the incidents of flu and cold are cut by 50% simply by washing your hands. Data also shows that some 30% of people fail to wash their hands throughout the day. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of regular hand washing.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow
  • Keep hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms, please stay at home to reduce the risk of spreading any illness
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces routinely

Check out our special Coronavirus section here 

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