STA to Resume Fare Collection and Front Door Boarding July 1
Increased Disinfectant Protocols, PPE, Other Safety Practices Remain in Effect
Spokane Transit (STA) will resume fare collection and front-door boarding on Wednesday, July 1, in anticipation of being in or near Phase 3 of Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start Washington plan by the end of June.
The fare suspension and rear-door boarding began on March 26 after E. Susan Meyer, STA’s Chief Executive Officer, signed an emergency proclamation outlining the agency’s additional precautions to help protect employees and customers from the spread of the coronavirus.
“Significantly reducing interactions between customers and coach operators was an important, timely measure to keep employees healthy and available to continue providing our essential service at the onset of COVID-19,” Meyer said. “Since then, we’ve received new guidance regarding health and safety practices, and we’ve developed additional measures that will allow us to return to our standard boarding and fare-collection operations.”
STA recently began installing and testing a type of barrier intended to create separation between coach operators and passengers at the front of the bus. The agency is installing these precautionary barriers on 10 buses to verify proper securement and functionality, and plans are in place to expand fleet-wide in the coming weeks.
Additionally, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries recently issued new requirements that transit drivers wear specific types of disposable masks when they are unable to maintain six feet of distance from other people while operating a bus or van.
These newest precautions are being implemented alongside other safety measures that will remain in place until further notice:
- Transit passengers are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings and practice social distancing by spreading out on the bus when possible. STA will make face coverings available to passengers beginning Monday, June 15, at the STA Plaza.
- Transit passengers are instructed to remain at least six feet away from coach operators after boarding the bus.
- The STA Plaza and most of its business tenants remain open, although there is no public seating or waiting inside the building.
- Increased disinfectant protocols for passenger vehicles and transit facilities will remain in effect.
- STA will continue sharing important health and safety practices recommended by the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) including proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette.
- Rides for Seniors – People age 60 and over can continue to use Paratransit vans to travel door-to-door to their destinations. Call (509) 328-1552 for more information or to reserve a trip.
Important Fare Collection Information
To provide customers with sufficient time to purchase passes before July 1, all bus and paratransit pass sales will resume on Monday, June 15, at The Plaza, in STA’s online store, through the Pass-By-Mail program, and through STA’s retail outlet partners: Albertsons, Cenex Zip Trip, Huckleberry’s, Rosauers, Safeway, Super One Foods and Yokes.
STA will also replace some pass types used in March to honor customers’ forgone value as most destinations closed and as STA suspended fares to initiate rear-door boarding. Customers can call (509) 328-RIDE for information about pass replacements.