The Greensboro Transit Agency (GTA) announced Wednesday, April 29 that it had stopped the regular or fixed route bus service, but was providing limited SCAT paratransit service.
The press release from GTA states, “Greensboro Transit Agency (GTA) is experiencing an immediate stoppage in transit service due to a temporary lack of bus operators and supporting staff. Until further notice, GTA is unable to provide fixed-route bus service and SCAT is providing limited service.”
The reason for the unexpected shutdown according to the press release is that drivers, supervisors and supporting staff didn’t report to work on Wednesday, April 29 after they were told that one bus driver had tested positive for COVID-19.
On Monday, April 27, GTA management was told that a bus driver had tested positive for COVID-19. That driver was removed from service and the vehicles and workplaces the driver frequented were sanitized.
GTA staff including bus drivers were told that a driver had tested positive but because of HIPPA laws, GTA management was not able to inform the drivers who had tested positive.
According to the press release, “Operators expressed concern with remaining unaware of the affected employee’s identity and responded by choosing not to report for work on April 29. The walkout was repeated by supervisors and supporting staff. With insufficient staffing levels, GTA had no choice but to halt operations.”
GTA had taken numerous steps to protect drivers from COVID-19 including frequent sanitation of the buses, rear-door boarding and fare-free service. Bus drivers were also provided with personal protection equipment and the drivers’ areas on buses were outfitted with temporary barriers.
On board sanitizer dispensers were provided for the passengers.
Since the COVID-19 shut down GTA buses have been operating on a limited schedule.
GTA is using the downtime to do additional sanitizing and cleaning of GTA buses and facilities.
There was no indication of when GTA bus service might resume.