Graham Kilmer

Buses Limited to 10 Riders

Starting Thursday a limit of 10 passengers on county buses to prevent spread of COVID-19.

By - Apr 7th, 2020 04:58 pm
MCTS Bus. Photo by Michael Horne.

MCTS Bus. Photo by Michael Horne.

Milwaukee County is going to begin limiting the number of people allowed on a bus to mitigate crowding and reduce human contact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting Thursday, no more than 10 passengers can be on a Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus simultaneously. “We’ve been concerned about overcrowding,” said County Executive Chris Abele in a press briefing Tuesday.

So if you see your bus roll past your stop Thursday, that is why. Abele said they are moving additional buses onto routes with higher traffic. “I apologize to people that have to wait longer,” Abele said.

The county executive emphasized that bus service is for essential rides only, those going to medical appointments or essential jobs. “Nobody has the right to increase anybody else’s risk,” he stressed.

The 10 passenger limit falls in line with the shelter-in-place order from Gov. Tony Evers, issued in March, that limited gatherings to no more than 10 people. Buses are confined spaces, Abele noted. “Crowding shouldn’t happen anywhere, it really shouldn’t happen on buses.”

Local government and health officials expect a surge in COVID-19 cases to hit Milwaukee County sometime towards the end of April. They have been pushing social distancing and isolation as a measure the public can use to reduce the pressure on the health care system when the surge comes.

The limit on bus passengers is the latest adaptation from the transit system to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently the bus system suspended all fare collection so that riders could enter the bus exclusively through the rear door, limiting interaction with bus operators. Before that, the bus system reduced its service, after a large reduction in ridership due to the pandemic.

In March, a bus operator tested positive and was treated for COVID-19. Before that, the Amalgamated Transit Union 998, which represents transit workers, made repeated calls for personal protective equipment.

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Categories: Health, Transportation

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