Public transit providers taking COVID-19 safety measures

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MINOT, N.D. - The City of Minot is taking more steps to make sure its transit buses keep clean to stop COVID-19.

"We have incorporated many additional cleaning policies throughout the day. Our drivers will spot clean hot spots on the bus, places that are generally touched very often," said Brian Horinka, City of Minot transit superintendent.

The city is switching to a take-home only route at 6:30 p.m. in order to prioritize cleaning.

"What that does is allow us to get back here to the garage a little bit earlier, spend a little more time doing a little deeper cleaning on the buses and getting them ready for the next day," Horinka said.

Souris Basin Transportation caters to an 80 percent ridership of older generations and people with disabilities, so cleanliness is paramount to protect anyone who is more vulnerable to the virus.

"They are generally going to and from doctors, hospitals or whatever the situation may be. They are depending on us to make sure we provide a very, very safe environment when they get on the vehicle," said Darrell Francis, Souris Basin Transportation executive director.

Souris Basin is cleaning its buses more frequently during the day, and has also hired MMD Detailing to deep-clean vehicles once every 1-2 weeks.

"They will wipe down the handles in between as often as we can between riders. Then in the evenings they will also wipe down everything inside and clean the vehicle," Francis said.

Both the City of Minot and Souris Basin Transportation are seeing sharp declines in ridership. Horinka estimates 75 percent less riders, while Francis says rides have gone from 380 to 260 per day.