City stops collecting fare on buses, ridership down

Sarnia Transit fleet superintendent Ivan Peters sprays down an interior to limit the potential spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. Troy Shantz

Troy Shantz

As parts of the city shut down around it, Sarnia Transit is soldiering on.

What’s more, the buses are now free to ride and have never been cleaner.

On March 20 the city stopped collecting fares and began requiring passengers to use only the rear doors of the bus when getting on and off.

Those who need mobility assistance can still use the front door.

Anyone who shows symptoms of possible Covid-19 infections is not allowed on public transit.

The fleet is scrubbed from top to bottom daily and an additional solution has also been added to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, which has killed thousands globally.

“They clean the driver’s area, they clean the steering wheel, they clean the dashboard, the handrail, the seat back, the floor, the high touch surfaces,” said director Andrew Savor.

After the usual sanitizing, cleaning staff follows with a solution called Aegis Microbe Shield that literally ruptures the cells of microbes.

“We’ve been doing this since the outset of the virus as a precaution,” Savor said.

Normally, it’s applied annually but is now being used every 45 days, “just in case we missed a spot someplace,” he said.

Drivers reported a “significant” decline in ridership last week coinciding with a “drastic drop” in street traffic, he added.

All drivers have hand sanitizer and frequent opportunities for hand washing at terminals. Seats near the driver are also now off-limit to passengers.