METRO has received confirmation a bus operator has tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total number of cases to 185 METRO employees and 51 contractors since March 2020.
Eighty-four 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 Aug. 19 and in the two weeks prior, drove the following routes:
*The chart above reflects the days the operator was on duty two weeks prior to the last day on the job.
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.
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, reliable and affordable transportation services about 370,000 times per day. Besides operating more than 1,200 buses on METRO’s network, METRORail‘s system includes the Red Line (Main Street and Northline), Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast). METRO’s services also include: STAR Vanpool, METROLift, HOV/HOT lanes, Bike & Ride program, Park & Ride, and road improvement projects. 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.