A Summary of TARC’s Response to COVID-19March 29, 2021
TARC would like to address our ongoing response to the COVID-19 crisis. With so many working tirelessly over this emergency, it is important for us to pass along our efforts to keep TARC drivers and riders safe.
1. TARC established a COVID-19 task force which meets daily and coordinates with Louisville Metro on our ongoing emergency response.
2. TARC has provided our drivers Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for several weeks, including gloves, hand-sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.
3. TARC cleans and sanitizes each bus daily and has deployed additional cleaning crews and specialized equipment. TARC has also ensured that those doing the cleaning are likewise issued the recommended PPE.
4. With the combination of reduced ridership and the threat of this disease, TARC has dramatically reduced the number of buses on the street—while still making sure to comply with Department of Homeland Security’s “critical infrastructure” designation. This reduction has thereby reduced exposure of TARC’s workforce by more than 1/3 and allowed maintenance crews to concentrate on cleaning fewer buses.
5. TARC has engaged volunteer agencies to help make masks for our workforce to wear, in light of a nationwide shortage.
6. TARC has reduced the number of passengers onboard buses to 25, with drivers required to request an additional bus at 15 passengers, to help those passengers who must report to essential work with social distancing measures.
7. TARC has moved the yellow “standee” line back to 8 feet on all buses, limiting interaction between drivers and passengers to a safer distance.
8. TARC has encouraged compliance with CDC requirements on social distancing and hand washing.
9. TARC has executed an emergency layoff plan. This decision was made with the understanding drivers will be entitled to regular unemployment benefits and an enhanced $600 weekly benefit from the federal government. Those TARC team members who have been laid off may now make their equivalent pay while staying safely at home. TARC management has also mandated that employee benefits during this process will continue to be paid for by TARC for the next three months—TARC will revisit this measure prior to the 90 days to determine if additional assistance may be needed.
10. TARC assesses the decision to go fare free and rear-door entry on a daily basis. Many buses do not allow rear entry without having the driver physically leave their seat and open the bus. There is also a concern that going fare free would result in an increase in ridership which would make social distancing measures more difficult.
TARC is committed to continuing to provide public transportation during this critical emergency to the Greater Louisville area.
To our Coach Operators, mechanics, and operations staff: we stand behind you and are working every day to keep you safe.
To our passengers: please respect the important work of our staff and support them during this difficult time. If you are sick, stay home. If you have tested positive or are currently awaiting test results, please stay home. Wash hands, practice social distancing, and please be considerate of our drivers and the work they do every day for our community.