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METRO Utility Worker, Bus Operator Test Positive for COVID-19

METRO has received confirmation a utility worker and a bus operator have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total number of cases to 194 METRO employees and 53 contractors since March 2020. 

Eighty-six of the employees had no contact with the public. METRO tracks and reports all positive cases among its 4200 employees and the various contractors who provide services to METRO. We are also conducting temperature checks of employees and others before they begin their workday at METRO facilities or on our vehicles. 

The bus operator last worked Sept. 17 and in the two weeks prior, drove the following routes:

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*The chart above reflects the days the operator was on duty two weeks prior to their last day on the job

The utility worker’s last day on the job was Sept.15 and that employee did not have contact with the public.

Anyone who comes in contact with an individual who tests positive should monitor themselves for possible symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as you develop any symptoms, and self-isolate to avoid possibly exposing others, including refraining from using public transportation.

METRO is working with public health officials so they can identify and notify anyone who traveled the routes driven by the bus operator during those time frames as well as anyone else who may have been impacted by the latest positive cases.

Since mid-March, METRO has sought to minimize the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission by operators or passengers by encouraging social distancing. On March 23, the agency temporarily suspended collecting fares to avoid unnecessary contacts.  Shortly thereafter, orange mesh fencing was installed across the aisles of every local bus to assure appropriate distancing between operators and passengers.

More safety upgrades are also being added to ​buses, trains and METROLift vehicles. Operators and riders will now have access to hand sanitizer while on board and protective shields around drivers’ seats will provide another layer of separation between operators and the public. Operators and riders are required to wear a face covering while on the system.

We appreciate and greatly value our riders. We have taken many actions, including working with the community at large, to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19. To prevent or minimize its transmission on the transit system, METRO asks all riders to use the system only for essential trips at this time,  practice social distancing when you do ride transit (i.e., stand or sit at least 6 feet apart, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, wash your hands for 20 seconds before boarding transit and after deboarding, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your elbow, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and stay home if you are sick). Additionally, riders should stand or sit no closer than six feet behind the driver. 

METRO’s number one priority is protecting the health and safety of our customers, community and employees.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the region’s largest public transit provider, offering safe, clean, reliable, accessible and friendly transportation services. METRO’s transit network includes local bus, METRORail which includes the Red Line (Main Street and Northline), the Green Line (East End) and the Purple Line (Southeast)Park & Ride commuter busesMETROLift paratransit service, HOV/HOT lanesCommunity Connector microtransit and Star Vanpool. In 2020, the Authority introduced the METRORapid Silver Line, the region’s first bus rapid transit service.  Bike & Ride programs and road improvement projects are also part of METRO’s commitment to the region.  Focused on investing in the region’s future mobility needs, the Authority developed the  METRONext Moving Forward Plan. METRO is also the first transit provider in region to pilot autonomous vehicle shuttle technology. Learn more about METRO services at ridemetro.org where you will also find useful tools like the RideMETRO app where you can plan your trip and even pay your fare from your phone.