Keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic has been our priority. Across the system, we’ve enhanced our cleaning procedures, equipped buses with temporary barriers and reinforced physical distancing measures.
The servicepersons on our Bus Services team have been fundamental in this effort – their dedication, adaptability and incredible work ethic have helped Coast Mountain Bus Company deliver transit services to thousands of people who rely on us.
“We’re dealing with a lot of health care workers who take transit to get to work and we want to protect them prior to going into their environment,” explained
Valerie Clarke, serviceperson at Vancouver Transit Centre (pictured below). “I want to make sure when anyone rides a bus, they feel protected.”
Before and after COVID-19
Prior to the pandemic, Valerie explained that her team’s job was to get the buses out in the morning and prep them for the afternoon rush. This involved driving the buses around, sweeping and mopping the floors, tidying up the operator’s area, taking them through the bus wash, conducting a pre-trip inspection and re-parking them for the afternoon rush hour.
“Since the pandemic began, there’s been a greater emphasis on disinfecting the buses, so our jobs have changed a bit,” added one of the servicepersons. “We’ve focused more on cleaning the inside of the bus.”
Extra attention is given to high-touch surfaces on the bus, such as the stanchions and the operator’s area. While cleaning, servicepersons wear gloves, masks, eye goggles, coveralls over their clothes, and use a safe, hospital-grade disinfectant.
Taking health & safety seriously
The Bus Services team has continued to implement specific initiatives to enhance regular cleaning procedures and protect employees, including:
- Daily disinfectant spraying of staff areas: bullpens, change rooms, lunchrooms
- Daily disinfectant spraying of garage vehicles: yard trucks, mobile mechanic vehicles
- Increased disinfection of high-use areas: Shop and Parts counters, bulletin boards, door handles, light switches
- Spraying buses with disinfectant
- Installation of physical distancing signage
- Cleaning windshields
The hard work of our Bus Services team hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“A lot of operators who see us wave and say thanks. They appreciate it,” one of the servicepersons relayed. “They see us in the yard cleaning the buses and they get excited knowing that their work environment is clean, and they’ll be safe when they go on the road. They’re not going into an unknown area where someone could have coughed or sneezed.”
Valerie concurred: “It’s kind of rewarding when an operator gets on after you’ve cleaned their bus and they tell you it’s so clean and smells nice. I think it’s very important for all of us to be here. A lot of us work really hard to keep the buses as clean and presentable as possible. It’s important to protect all of us. We’re all one family and we all work together.”
Sending our sincerest thanks to our Bus Services team for their enthusiasm and dedication throughout these challenging times!
Written by Rebecca Abel