The global COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has affected all our lives, particularly how we travel. Sometimes travel cannot be avoided, and our customers need reliable methods of transportation that they can count on. As a responsible bus company, we at DC Trails feel it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission.
We have developed a number of stringent protocols, which are based on or even exceed recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. While no method can 100% guarantee safety from contagion, we are truly doing everything in our power to help protect our riders and our employees. This document will outline our various initiatives, as well as how you can help protect yourself and others while riding a DC Trails bus.
Preparing for Trips
Regardless of how recently the bus was used, we will thoroughly clean and disinfect each bus before its next major trip. We have an extensive checklist of items and areas on the bus which must be disinfected, and the bus will not be allowed to leave until every item has been checked off.
In addition to cleaning by hand, we also utilize multiple “deep cleaning” methods to provide second and third levels of sanitation. We utilize anti-bacterial fogging products, which are perfect for getting disinfectant into hard-to-reach locations on the bus which are difficult or impossible to reach by hand. We have also installed special UV lighting systems which also aid in combating COVID-19 because the virus is weak to ultraviolet light.
All our employees have been extensively trained on these devices so that no mistakes are made. These procedures well exceed recommendations and help ensure that our buses are as sterilized as is reasonably possible within a commercial operation.
Staying Safe During Your Trip
We will also be cleaning and sanitizing the bus during your journey and taking other measures to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission.
At regular times throughout the journey – such as at rest stops – the driver will clean and disinfect areas that are frequently touched. These are where viral transmission would be most likely to occur. These areas include guard rails, chair backs, the overhead compartments, audio-visual equipment, and power plugs, as well as anything in the restroom.
In addition, trash disposal is given a higher priority, and waste receptacles will be cleaned often. Particular care will be taken to keep the restroom clean and sanitary.
We will also be keeping the windows and vents open as much as possible, weather, and temperature permitting. COVID-19 does not survive well in open air, so maintaining high levels of ventilation in the cabin will further help prevent the spread of the virus. We have also installed upgraded antiviral filters in our ventilation system.
This may make your trip a bit windy, but we hope you won’t mind the slight inconvenience under the circumstances.
Reducing the Risk of Our Employees Becoming Infected
Of course, safety measures don’t stop at the bus itself – it is also vital to keep our own employees safe, particularly the drivers.
As mentioned above, we have extensively trained our crew on safety procedures and use of disinfectant products and drilled them on their application. Every employee or driver you encounter will be dedicated to keeping the bus as clean as possible while reducing any chance that they might contaminate the bus.
We have also curtailed travel among our employees, particularly overseas travel. Any international trips must be reported to our HR department beforehand, and explicitly approved by management. Any non-essential business trips within the country are also discouraged.
Should a worker need to travel abroad, they will be expected to self-quarantine for two weeks upon return to the US. They will not be allowed to return to our offices and resume work without a doctor’s clearance. This greatly reduces the chances of infection coming in from overseas.
Working Together to Protect Ourselves from Infection
Cooperation and understanding are critical to preventing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. We ask our clients to be patient with safety procedures and to work together with us to maintain safety and hygiene.
Before anyone is allowed on the bus, each person will have their temperature taken via an infrared thermometer. Those with high temperatures will not be allowed to travel. We ask every traveler to do a self-check before leaving their house. If you are feeling unwell, have a fever, or are showing other symptoms of the coronavirus, please stay home.
Additionally, if you have been exposed to someone who is known to have contracted the coronavirus, again, please stay home. The likelihood that you carry the virus will be high.
We will endeavor to maintain as much space as possible between riders on each bus. Our standard policy is to only run buses at half capacity so that no two riders are seated next to each other. For chartered tours, we may be willing to make exceptions, but only on a case-by-case basis. For example, if two people are romantic partners, close family members, or otherwise cohabitate, they can sit together safely.
All riders will be asked to wear face masks throughout their trips.
Additionally, we strongly suggest riders bring supplies of hand sanitizer and use it regularly throughout the trip. In particular, sanitize your hands whenever getting on or off the bus, and whenever using the restroom. Try to avoid touching your face as well.
DC Trails Is Committed to Safe Operation
These are not easy times for anyone, and we all need to work together to stay safe from the COVID-19 outbreak. We ask for your understanding and patience when conforming to these safety regulations.
If you have any other questions about DC Trails’ rules and procedures for preventing disease transmission, please contact us.