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County Connection has been closely monitoring the changes surrounding the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. The health and safety of County Connection employees, passengers, and the communities we serve remains a top priority and the Authority is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all.
On March 16, 2020, a Stay at Home Order was issued in Contra Costa County, along with six (6) other Bay Area counties. County Connection, alongside other public transit providers across the nation, remained an essential service through this time. As such, County Connection has implemented processes, procedures, and mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These steps were taken following guidance from agencies such the Contra Costa County Department of Health Services (CCHS) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
From a regional perspective, transportation agencies across the Bay Area have also recognized the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, County Connection began working in partnership with other transportation agencies to develop policies, procedures, and other mitigation efforts that included enhanced communication efforts, vehicle modifications, improved sanitation efforts, and modified work schedules. Each of these efforts were done to promote the safety and well-being of employees, passengers, and the communities we serve.
The collaboration of the Bay Area’s twenty-seven (27) operators has led to the development of the Riding Together: Bay Area Healthy Transit Plan. This plan provides a unified and comprehensive framework of health and safety commitments, mitigation standards, communication efforts, and responsibilities for transit providers, employees, and passengers across all systems. The Healthy Transit Plan uses guidance from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the World Health Organization (WHO). This plan was also developed in partnership with regional leaders, transit employees, paratransit providers, rider advocates, and public health experts to ensure a safe transportation network in the Bay Area.
A key component of the Healthy Transit Plan is the assessment of plan effectiveness through monitoring and data collection. A metrics dashboard is currently in development by all transportation agencies, which will report the progress of each individual transit operator on the common commitments. Dashboard data will be updated monthly and be publicly accessible. The plan is designed to provide a flexible approach that responds appropriately as new information is gained and as changes surrounding COVID-19 occur.
APTA Health & Safety Commitments Program
County Connection has joined the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) “Health and Safety Commitments Program,” the public transportation industry’s overarching pledge to passengers that public transit systems are taking all the necessary measures to operate safely as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Program was developed after asking transit users from across the country what measures would make them feel more confident riding public transportation amid concerns about COVID-19. From this research, the industry identified four key areas that transit systems need to address to earn riders’ confidence:
- Following public health guidelines from official sources
- Cleaning and disinfecting transit vehicles frequently and requiring face coverings and other protections
- Keeping passengers informed and empowered to choose the safest times and routes to ride
- Putting health first by requiring riders and employees to avoid public transit if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel ill
To learn more, visit apta.com/commitments.