The Safe Routes Partnership published an article called “Advocating for Essential Transit Options: Active Transportation Advocates as Allies,” where an Oregon public transportation provider was profiled. Here is an exerpt:
“CENTER COMMUNITY NEEDS IN OUTREACH & PLANNING EFFORTS
Transit agencies must practice meaningful community outreach and engagement through this time. Last month, the Salem-Keizer Area Mass Transit District (SAMTD) abruptly suspended all transit services to help stop the spread of COVID-19, as several bus operators had recently tested positive for the virus. We, along with several partnering organizations and community members, shared concerns for the dramatic impact this sudden shutdown would have for transit riders and workers. One week later, SAMTD announced that services were back on for those with “essential trips” only, with fare-free rides and increased social distancing measures. We’re relieved to see SAMTD services back up and running with increased protections for workers and riders, and we see Salem as an example of a transit agency forced into a difficult decision to prioritize public health, but the decision was also made with very short notice for transit users and offering no support for stranded riders. Since resuming service, SAMTD has exercised much stronger communication tactics to share updates with the community. Riders must be informed of changes to service, with ample online messaging and adequate notification at bus stops. Communications must also be provided in languages frequently spoken by riders and disseminated through culturally-relevant platforms, to ensure that riders are properly informed.”
Read the entire article on the Safe Routes Partnership blog.