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Posted on: February 1, 2021

Health Advisory & Service Updates (COVID-19)

To help keep our bus operators and passengers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, METRO has implemented several policies and safety procedures. 

Updated - February 1, 2021

Effective February 2, 2021 
A new CDC requirement states that some face coverings, previously allowed on public transit, do not comply with the rule. 
The don’t-travel list includes face shields, bandanas, masks with exhalation valves, and masks that are too big or otherwise don’t fit properly. 
All METRO passengers must wear a face mask when boarding the bus and throughout their trip.
Specific information and updated CDC guidelines regarding public transit: LINK


Updated - December 10, 2020

Effective Monday, December 14, METRO will be implementing the following changes:

On - Board Capacity Reduced from 30 back to 20 Passengers:
In light of the recent spike in COVID cases in the state of Maine and Cumberland County, METRO will once again reduce on-board capacity to allow for greater physical distancing between passengers. Beginning Monday, December 14, all METRO local routes will be limited to 20 passengers. Please see additional guidelines listed below.

COVID 19 Update:
Two METRO employees tested positive this week for COVID. We are in touch with both and wish them a swift recovery. They are quarantined from work as are the employees with whom they had “close contacts," per the following CDC guidelines:  

The CDC has expanded how it defines close contacts of someone with COVID-19. Until this point, the CDC had defined a close contact as someone who spent 15 or more consecutive minutes within six feet of someone with COVID-19. According to the new definition, a close contact is someone who spends 15 minutes or more within six feet of a person with COVID-19 over a period of 24 hours.

With the driver barriers Metro has installed on every bus, there is little risk of a spread between customer and operator.  

As part of following CDC guidance for public transit systems and workplaces, 
METRO continues to implement the following safety protocols and we are adding additional measures:

  • On-board Bus Operator barriers/partitions.
  • Passenger capacity limit – 20 passengers effective December 14, 2020
  • Requirement that all passengers (over the age of two) wear masks or compliant face shield when boarding and during their entire ride. 
  • No eating or drinking is allowed on buses (passengers cannot remove face covering during their bus ride)
  • Daily staff health/temperature checks.
  • Daily enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of buses and work spaces.
  • Strong internal and external communications around masking, physical distancing, and personal hygiene.
  • Return to remote work for most administrative staff and closure of Valley Street office to the public.
  • Closure of lobby at Elm Street Pulse; Walk up service only.

Please check back for updates.
Questions can be sent to: info@gpmetro.org


Updated November 13,  2020

Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, the METRO Office, at 114 Valley Street, and the interior of the METRO Pulse at Elm Street will be closed, beginning Monday, November 16, to the public until further notice. The customer service window at the METRO Pulse will still be staffed during regular business hours.

There are no additional  changes at this time; however, we want to stress the importance of wearing masks. All passengers are required to wear a mask or face covering that covers the mouth and nose. Those who can not wear a mask due to medical issues, must wear a shield. 

Updated September 10, 2020

Beginning October 1, 2020, METRO will require all passengers to board the bus through the front door and pay a fare.
METRO, along with Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit (BSOOB Transit) and South Portland Bus Service, is introducing
a new electronic payment system. 

Check it out -- DiriGo TouchPass , introducing the new contactless and safe way to pay your fare.
More info HERE. Look for updates.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS will continue
All METRO riders are required to wear a face covering when boarding and riding METRO.

Updated August 20, 2020-

METRO returns to full service effective August 30, 2020.

SCHEDULE CHANGES

  • Route 4 - INBOUND bus stop at Shaw’s Westbrook Crossing discontinued.
    Passengers should use new INBOUND stop (#442), near Market Basket/Rock Row.
  • HUSKY LINE - NEW INBOUND & OUTBOUND service to Market Basket/Rock Row. Bus stops on Main St., Westbrook
  • ADDITIONAL SCHEDULE CHANGES: Increased frequency and span of service on several routes.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

  • Effective Sunday, August 30 -- ALL passengers are required to wear a face covering.
    Face masks are the most effective covering to help limit the spread of the virus; however, some passengers have health concerns and have difficulty wearing them. Passengers who can not wear face masks are required to wear a face shield.
  • The number of passengers allowed on a METRO bus has been updated to allow no more than 30 passengers.


Updated June 24, 2020

Southern Maine Transit Agencies Begin Phased-In Return to Regular Service
Fare Suspension and Safety Precaution Remain in Place Link to Press Release

  • METRO and partner agencies Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit (BSOOB Transit) and South Portland Bus Services (SPBS) Safety precautions (listed below) will continue to suspend fares through, at least, July 31 2020.

  • METRO will implement enhanced service changes effective July 5, 2020 as part of a phased-in process to restore regular service.
    These schedule updates will expand the span of service on several routes.

  • Safety Cautions listed below remain in place. Passengers are reminded to wear a face covering when boarding and riding.

Updated July 9, 2020

The number of passengers allowed on METRO buses has been updated to allow no more than 20 passengers.
Riders should keep a distance of at least six feet between themselves and other riders and only sit with passengers they are travelling with

METRO has implemented several policies and safety procedures to help keep our bus operators and passengers safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic, including:

  • METRO has continued suspension of fares, at least through July 31, 2020.

  • Schedule Updates Effective July 5, 2020 as part of phased in expansion of service. LINK TO NEW SCHEDULES.
  • Face Masks/Face Coverings
    METRO bus operators and passengers are required to wear either a face mask or face covering to board and ride a Metro bus.
    Exceptions: Children under two years of age or persons with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering.

    Links to additional information:
    BACKGROUND INFO:  on the importance of wearing a face covering and directions on how to make your own.
    Poster (11" x 14"): Requirement to wear a face covering while riding METRO (translated into five languages) - DOWNLOAD

  • Rear Door Boarding 
    Passengers are required to use the rear door for boarding and alighting.
    Front door and ramp requests will be allowed.

  • Passenger Capacity
    The number of passengers on the bus is limited to 20 at a time (updated 6.4.2020)

  • All trips are one-way trips. 
    No continuous riding. (This is a standard policy)

  • Passenger Policies
    METRO riders are reminded to follow standard METRO Passenger Policies  (eff - Aug 2018) and the following updated rules:

    -- Passengers should maintain at least SIX FEET of physical distance between themselves and other passengers
    (unless they are part of a family or small group travelling together)

    -- Passengers must maintain at least SIX FEET of physical distance between themselves and the bus operator, unless they require ADA assistance.

    -- Passengers must practice safe personal hygiene while on the bus

    For the latest on our efforts and an opportunity for questions, please check back for updates and visit our Facebook page.


For additional information, Check out -- METRO’s Resource Page


Updates include:

  • Updates on current service from other regional service providers and partners.
  • A list of policies and procedures, translated into several languages, for our passengers.
  • Directions on how to make your own face covering.
  • Actions that METRO has taken to protect our employees and our riders.
  • Additional METRO updates, resources, and information.

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