b'Taking early measuresallowed PTD to initiallymaintain normal levels of service while working with the Municipalitys COVID-19 response team to adapt as things changed. PTDcloselymonitoredtheissue,withreportsBuses were equipped with plexi-therecommendationsthat some riders were al- glasspartitionsbetweenthebus coming out of the Centerlegedly taking non-essen- operator and the farebox to help forDiseaseControl,thetial trips, thus increasingprotectridersandthebusoper-Anchorage Heath Depart- the number of riders leftatorsduringthe ment and the decisions ofbehindatbusstopsdueboarding process. other transit agencies. Ontoreachedbuscapacity.Processes to March 18, PTD went fare- PTDdoesnotdiscrimi- screen bus freetoencouragerearboardingandnateoroperateonperceivedjudge- operators for eliminate the interaction between thementsofindividualtripneedsandCOVID-19 at rider and bus operator at the farebox.continued to stress the importance ofthe beginning of Passenger limits were also enacted totakingonlynecessarytripswithin- every shift were increase social distancing opportuni- creased messaging and outreach ma- set in place.ties and riders were asked to only taketerials.essential trips. Operators were outfitted with per-TripscharacterizedasessentialSERVICE PAUSED sonal protection equipment (PPE) were to healthcare services, access toOnApril9theMunicipalitymadetoincludemasks,gloves,wipes, critical jobs and government services,the hard choice to suspend fixed-routeand hand-sanitizer.and grocery shopping.bus service temporarily in the face ofNew cleaning protocols were set-PTD took these precautionary mea- theglobalpandemic.Weighingsafe- up to spray the interior of the bus sures to help encourage social distanc- tyandhealthconcernsagainsttheevery night with disinfectant and ing and minimize the risk of exposurecommunitys mobility needs is neverhigh touch surfaces continued to to the riders and bus operators. Takinganeasychoice.AstheCityandthebe thoroughly wiped down with a these early measures allowed PTD tocountryassembledtoplanforwhatbleach solution.initially maintain normal levels of ser- was to come, a pause in People Mov-vice while working with the Munic- er fixed-route bus service was deemedPTD will not be able to ensure pub-ipalitysCOVID-19responseteamtonecessary. During that pause, a limitedlic safety alone. It takes everyone to adapt as things changed.on-demand service was set up for es- playtheirpartincommunitysafetysential trips using AnchorRIDES para- by washing their hands, wearing their WHAT HAPPENED NEXT transit vehicles. This allowed PTD tomasks and maintaining a safe distance With rider limits in place, some peo- provide about 200 essential trips perfrom each other.ple experienced a hardship when theyday, but the need outnum- were left at a bus stop due to the fullbered the service.RESUMING SERVICEcapacity status of the approaching bus.Whileservicewashalt- On June 1, People Mov-This hardship was especially notice- ed, PTD remained focusederserviceresumedwith ableonthelowerfrequencyroutesonreinstatingthetrans- fares reinstated. Rider lim-thatarrivedevery30or60minutesportationfreedomoftheits continued and adjusted and on routes operated with smallercommunity and providing aastheMunicipalitymon-buses that had lower rider limits. Thesafe travel environment foritoredactiveCOVID-19 fare-free status may have exacerbatedeveryone.cases.Facemaskswere UrbanStreets Anchorage |21'