SamTrans wake the F… up. PANDEMIC

By Michael G. Stogner

NO MASK NO RIDE NO MASK NO DRIVE

Fire who ever approved the SOFT APPROACH to enforcing masks.

Send drivers home who don’t wear masks. Mike Levinson, chair of the San Mateo County Paratransit Coordinating Council, during the meeting said SamTrans bus drivers themselves are not always wearing masks.

Todays SMDJ

A SamTrans board member and others called for stricter enforcement of face coverings aboard buses at a meeting Wednesday.

While masks are currently required when in public, SamTrans has been taking a “soft approach” to enforcing the rule on its buses, said Chief Operating Officer David Olmeda during the meeting.

SamTrans Board Member Charles Stone, also Belmont vice mayor, wants that to change.

“Morally I think we have an obligation to institute a mandatory face covering rule as soon as possible,” Stone said. “I think we have to abandon the soft approach and go with a much stricter approach.

“No one should be getting on our buses without a face covering,” he continued. “It’s not just about the health and safety of other riders. It’s about the health and safety of our operators as well.”

Olmeda said the “soft approach” to enforcement was implemented to avoid altercations between bus drivers and defiant riders.

“One of the things we’ve learned from other transit agencies is when we take a very hard line or depend on the operators to take a hard line we increase the opportunity to get aggression and have problems on board our vehicles,” Olmeda said. “We’ve taken a softer approach because quite frankly at this point in time everyone understands in society that masks are required.”

Instead of having drivers enforce the mask requirement, automatic messages and signs on buses “encourage” the use of face coverings, Olmeda said.

Stone argued that managing insolent riders is part of the bus driver’s job description, adding the agency’s drivers are up to the task.

“I’m certainly sensitive to the fact that we don’t necessarily want our operators to have to deal with the unpleasant situation if someone doesn’t want to wear a face covering, however, I know our operators are really good at dealing with difficult customers already. They’re fantastic about that,” he said. “You have to be able to deal with folks who are not necessarily listening to you when you tell them don’t come over the line or sit down while the bus is in motion. … I think they can handle this.”

Mike Levinson, chair of the San Mateo County Paratransit Coordinating Council, during the meeting said SamTrans bus drivers themselves are not always wearing masks.

“We’ve had a couple of complaints from riders that drivers on Redi-Wheels have not had masks and they’re assisting people with wheelchairs and seat belts,” he said. “I completely agree with [Stone’s] sentiments.”

Officials did not indicate whether the SamTrans’ mask enforcement policy will change in the near future, but Olmeda said the agency is currently exploring whether to store masks on buses so they can be given to riders who don’t have them.

During the meeting, officials said a blend of local and school service will be restored by August. Certain bus lines including the Route ECR that services El Camino Real as well as 23 community routes in low-income areas will return to preCOVID-19 service levels, though other routes will be suspended. Suspended routes include the SFO, which services the airport, and FCX, which travels between Foster City and San Francisco, as well as 15 community routes.

Officials also noted average weekday ridership on SamTrans has been increasing 6% to 8% week over week over the past three weeks.

1 Comment

Filed under #2americas, #citizenoversight, #SanMateoCountyNews, Citizen Journalist, Michael G. Stogner, No Cure, No Treatment, No Vaccine, Outrageous Government Conduct, PANDEMIC, Public Trust, SamTrans Fraud Investigation, SMC Citizen Advocate Brent Turner, SMC Contact Tracing, SMC COVID-19 Call Center, Stay in Home Order, Victim's Advocate

One response to “SamTrans wake the F… up. PANDEMIC

  1. rislas1

    In SF, no mask, no getting on MUNI. No exceptions.

    Drivers are ALL masked, they no longer allow passenger entry in the front of the vehicle and they are -mostly-protected by plexiglass now. There is no sitting allowed (except for wheelchairs) closer than 6ft of the driver and the area is clearly marked.

    Onward together,

    Regina S Islas [she/her] regina.islas@gmail.com 650.484.7706

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/rsislas

    #SolidarityIsMySuperpower

    Sí se puede. Dolores Huerta

    the personal is political everyone

    On Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 8:29 AM San Mateo County News wrote:

    > Michael G Stogner posted: “By Michael G. Stogner NO MASK NO RIDE NO MASK > NO DRIVE Fire who ever approved the SOFT APPROACH to enforcing masks. Send > drivers home who don’t wear masks. Mike Levinson, chair of the San Mateo > County Paratransit Coordinating Council, during the meeting ” >

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