CHICAGO — The CTA announced Friday it will end the temporary measure of allowing passengers to board buses at the rear door beginning Sunday.
The transit agency in April allowed passengers to board in the rear to help separate passengers to slow the spread of coronavirus.
As Chicago continues its gradual reopening and more people return to work, the CTA said it’s moving back to the standard front boarding and fare-paying routine.
Buses will still have reduced capacity limits: 15 riders on a standard 40-foot bus and 22 on a 60-foot articulated bus.
The agency is encouraging riders to use the extra space to social distance. It’s also asking that all riders wears mask. But it acknowledges drivers are not being told to stop mask-less passengers from boarding.
“CTA’s mask requirement is based on voluntary compliance,” the CTA said in a tweet. “CTA personnel will not prevent passengers without face coverings from boarding a bus or train. At this time, we are unable to provide masks for everyone and we will continue to encourage people to wear the masks they own.”
It also added: “While the state order requiring customers to wear masks or face coverings, it does not provide CTA with the ability to enforce the actions of every single rider. We encourage our customers to follow the provisions of the state order.”
The CTA laid out its safety measures in a post here. Including is its protocol for the cleaning of buses and trains:
- Cleaning BEFORE Service: Every rail car and bus is cleaned before it leaves for daily service — this includes wiping down seats, stanchions, grab handles and surfaces with disinfectant, as well as sweeping and trash removal.
- Cleaning WHILE IN service: Workers disinfect the high-touch surfaces of rail cars at all terminals after they finish a run and before they turn around for another run. Workers have also been stationed at the Navy Pier, Jefferson Park, Howard and Midway bus terminals to clean high-touch surfaces of buses serving 30 different routes.
- Routine deep cleans: In addition to the daily cleanings, all vehicles undergo a routine “deep clean”, which entails intensive cleanings of the interior surfaces from the top of windows to the floor. Each night of the week, approx. 300 vehicles — 150 rail cars and 150 buses — are deep cleaned. As part of this process, crews use a 3-in-1 product that cleans, disinfects and deodorizes all surfaces of the vehicles.
- Electrostatic sprayers for deeper cleans: New eMist devices apply cleaning solution as a mist, providing for more thorough coverage. Machines will supplement our existing deep-cleaning measures and allow us to clean vehicles more efficiently and thoroughly
- Anti-microbial surface coating: Currently testing new products on the interior of our vehicles that prevent certain materials (e.g. bacteria, viruses, liquids, etc.) from sticking to treated surfaces for an extended period of time.
- UV cleaning technology: CTA is also investigating UV light cleaning, currently being pilot tested by New York City.
- Mobile cleaning SWAT teams: Ten 4-5 member mobile teams will be deployed across the system to power wash our stations.
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