As a result of new actions and recommendations Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Thursday in response to the coronavirus, Carroll Transit fixed bus routes will be temporarily shut down starting March 20.
TrailBlazer bus routes will cease until further notice and door-to-door service will only be available for those attending critical medical appointments and for emergency services personnel, according to a county news release. This includes: hospital or medical employees; employees of grocery stores, including Giant, Walmart and Target; and suppliers of pharmacy, food and critical needs.
“We’re doing the best we can on our part,” Crystal Winebrenner, executive director of Carroll Transit, said Thursday afternoon.
Winebrenner did not know when the routes will return to normal.
The veterans shuttle, which takes veterans to Veterans Affairs medical facilities for free, is not affected by the governor’s Thursday announcements according to a county spokesperson.
Buses will be disinfected each evening, and during the day drivers will continue to use disinfecting wipes on handrails and seats whenever the bus is without passengers, the release reads. The fleet will be deep cleaned every weekend, drivers will limit contact with passengers when possible and drivers will not enter facilities to pick up passengers.
Drivers will request passengers be seated at least one row apart from one another. Each vehicle has a capacity of 14, including space for two wheelchairs. Each vehicle will run at 50% capacity to allow distance while on board, according to the release.
Should services need to be adjusted further, notices will be posted on carrolltransitsystem.com and on all buses. Passengers are encouraged to call to confirm a ride at 410-386-5550.
Carroll Transit also implemented precautions at the office and will continue following the county’s building restriction policy, which currently is by appointment only. Staff are encouraged to stay home if not feeling well, and anyone with symptoms of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, will be prohibited to work, the release states.
Passengers are reminded to wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home if they are feeling sick.
If a passenger answers “Yes” to any of the following questions, Carroll Transit asks that they do not use this service:
- Are you or others you have had close contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19?
- Have you recently traveled to or from another country?
- Do you have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath?
Anyone who thinks they or a family member might be showing coronavirus symptoms can call the health department’s COVID-19 hotline, which is available 8 am. through 5 p.m. seven days a week at 410-876-4848, or contact their doctor. After hours, callers may leave a message or call 211. People with emergencies should continue to call 911.