DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Greater Dayton Regional Transportation Authority has made some changes since the start of the COVID pandemic, and Deputy CEO, Robert Ruzinski, said one of their biggest priorities has become making sure essential employees are still getting to work in a healthy environment. Like other businesses around the country, he said the company has taken losses, but added, that’s not impacting their drive to offer clean, reliable transportation to community members.
“Obviously like any other transit system in America, we’re having fewer riders, but we’re only down about 30 percent, 32 percent right now. At one point we were down 50 percent or so, but it’s leveled back off.”
Ruzinski said before the pandemic, about 60 percent of riders used the bus system to commute to and from work, but added, he believes the number of essential riders has increased over the last few months. He said overseeing the functions of an essential business has given him the opportunity to ensure his own critical workers are stable, so they can play a role in empowering others.
“A lot of transit systems had to cut services and lay people off. We did not do that. We did have a pretty big drop in our demand response ridership, which is our smaller buses, and so we were able to redeploy those drivers temporarily to clean down here in our hub. So every time a bus comes in, those drivers will jump on and get the high touch points.”
Ruzinski added, the drivers who have not been redistributed are still running their routes as scheduled. He said he’s also aware that some essential workers have been disproportionately affected in a number of ways since the start of the pandemic. That’s why he said every worker who relied on RTA before, will continue to have the access they need.
“The community can count on RTA to do what we can to slow the spread. The bulk of our ridership right now is taking essential workers to their jobs, whether it be cleaning hospital rooms, nurses, people working at Kroger, or a distribution center, we’re a life blood to get these essential workers to these essential jobs.”
To accommodate the both essential workers and every day riders, buses are being wiped down between every ride and deep cleaned at night. Masks are also required to enter the hub or board any RTA vehicle.
To learn more about RTA scheduling and policies, click here.
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