Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works remains steadfast in keeping customers and employees safe
The Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) continues to augment protections for Miami-Dade Transit passengers and employees in order to prevent potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Like cities across the world, our community has confronted unprecedented challenges over the last several months – like how to keep our residents moving safely on public transit during a pandemic,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “My priority is the lives and livelihoods of our residents. My administration is committed to using our resources and implementing new technology to keep transit riders and hardworking employees safe.”
DTPW is working to install a new air treatment device inside of each Miami-Dade Transit vehicle. On each Metrobus vehicle, the department started installing an air treatment device, the CCT24V-1. This new tool is designed to suppress dust, control certain odors, and help control various harmful organisms throughout the air space inside of buses.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have been dedicated to protecting our employees and riders,” said DTPW director Alice N. Bravo, P.E. “We were among the first mass transit agencies in the nation to suspend fares and implement rear-door boardings on Metrobuses to limit unnecessary interactions with operators. Now, we are looking into new technologies to enhance our existing safety measures to provide further protections.”
The department is working to install a new air filtration system inside of each Metrorail car, and it is in the process of upgrading the air filters to provide higher purification efficiency than standard filters inside of each Metromover vehicle. Also, the department is looking to install innovative technology that utilizes germicidal UV-C light to treat moving handrails of escalators. With this new UV-C lighting technology, handrails are constantly being disinfected in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. DTPW expects for the vendor to start installing the devices at the Metrorail Government Center station in January 2021. Installation at other Metrorail and Metromover stations will follow pending efficiency results from the initial units.
The following are some of the key steps that the department has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New equipment and cleaning procedures
- Increased cleaning and disinfecting schedules for all vehicles.
- Started using a fog machine to sanitize hard-to-reach places.
- Polycarbonate shields were added to buses, converting the driver’s cabin from a partial to a full enclosure.
- Blocked seats closer to operator’s cabin to increase social distancing between operator and passengers.
- Suspended fares for all Miami-Dade Transit services, including parking fees.
- Implemented rear-door boarding to lessen the need for non-essential interactions between operator and passengers.
- Adjusted service, schedules, and hours of operations for Metrobus, Metrorail, and Metromover.
- Suspended Metrobus express routes due to a significant decline in ridership.
- Temporarily discontinued overnight routes due to low ridership and introduced the Go Nightly program.
Note: Closing Metrorail service at 10 p.m. nightly has helped the department to accelerate maintenance projects such as the replacement of track rails, fasteners, and ties during overnight hours.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other actions
- Distributed masks and plastic face shields to operators.
- Installed hand sanitizer units on board all Metrobus, Metrorail, and Metromover vehicles.
- Implemented temperature checks for all employees and visitors at all garages and facilities.
- Employees over 65 or with underlying medical conditions were offered options to stay safe at home with pay or work from home.
Social distancing and other safety measures
- Limited number of passengers allowed on vehicles to ensure social distancing.
- Electronically monitored passenger count and deployed supplemental buses to avoid overcrowding.
- Added a total of 123 supplemental buses to meet the needs of high-demand routes and eliminate overcrowding during weekend and weekday service.
- Installed signs on board Metrobuses and Metrorail vehicles reminding passengers to keep a safe distance between themselves and avoid sitting in marked seats.
- In accordance with Miami-Dade County Emergency Orders, enforced face coverings requirements for riders, issued warnings and removed violators from transit vehicles and stations.
- Installed directional decals on floors and doors of Metrorail and Metromover vehicles to create one-way circulation paths.
- Installed social distancing floor decals at all stations.
As a reminder, Miami-Dade Transit fares and parking fees remain suspended at this time, and rear-door boarding is still in place for Metrobus riders. To further support social distancing, riders are encouraged to follow the directional signage on Metrorail and Metromover vehicles to create one-way circulation paths.
Passengers riding with Miami-Dade Transit are required to wear a facial covering at all times while on board a vehicle or inside the system. Riders must also have their face covering on while waiting at bus stops or on the platform. Remember to wear your face mask over your nose and mouth. Violators are subject to removal from Miami-Dade Transit properties.
The department will continue to follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Miami-Dade County to ensure the actions being taken are comprehensive and appropriate.
Visit miamidade.gov/transit for more information and follow DTPW on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay in-the-know for departmental updates. Download the GO Miami-Dade Transit app to plan and track your next trip on transit.
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