TCAT’s no-fare policy that went into effect in March to reduce any potential for the spread of the coronavirus between drivers and riders will extend to Tues., June 30.
The TCAT Board of Directors called a special remote meeting today and voted unanimously to extend the policy for a second time since it first went into effect March 20. The policy was set to expire on Sat., May 23, the day before summer service goes into effect.
Ceasing fare collections eliminates the need for riders to put their hands on the farebox, as well as limits the amount of time they spend near drivers, who sit adjacent to the fare equipment. The measure also aims to provide relief to riders who are struggling financially due to layoffs and job losses during the crisis.
“Continuing to suspend fare collecting is essential based on the fact that there are still so many unknowns,” said TCAT General Manager Scot Vanderpool. “We will reevaluate the situation once again at the end of June and hope for the best.”
As another precaution, TCAT is continuing to require riders to wear a face covering or mask before boarding and while riding the bus, per an executive order from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Those who have health issues preventing them from wearing face coverings or children under the age of 2 are exempt.) To promote social distancing, each bus has a 20-rider limit and, while in transit, riders are asked to sit as far apart as possible.
Additionally, TCAT also continues to adhere to strict protocols with the disinfection of buses and facilities used by employees and riders.
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