Rocky View Handibus has taken measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to serve those needing transportation.
Executive director Paul Siller says closures have dropped their ridership drastically, but they continue to make 20 to 30 trips daily for basic needs and medical appointments. Siller expects a small increase in trips next week.
"There was lots of uncertainty, lots of confusion. All the programs and facilities that are now officials closed has dropped our ridership by a little over 80 per cent, but we're still finding people who need to travel to community support services, and we're adapting and ramping up to do that in a safe manner."
Rocky View Handibus has a multi-leveled pandemic response strategy.
Currently, they have established two interim requirements of their passengers.
- Passengers must re-confirm the destination is still open for business. (for instance, some medical offices have closed suddenly, presumably due to staffing issues)
- Passengers should not make bookings if they are exhibiting flu-like symptoms
Siller says they have stepped up their cleaning and disinfection protocols to maintain both passenger and driver health. Drivers have increased cleaning frequency and also applying a sanitizer solution to the entire interior of her vehicles. Drivers are also wiping down the common hard surfaces twice daily with disinfectant wipes.
Siller says the low passenger volume sees 10 drivers working every other day. Temporary layoffs or leaves of absence are being considered in the coming week.
The service also has four drivers in self-isolation, says Siller.
In the meantime, schedulers have been helping passengers re-book appointments for April.