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Port Authority Steps Up Its Cleaning Schedule In Response To Coronavirus, Service Remains Unchanged

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Liz Reid
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90.5 WESA

Port Authority of Allegheny County will now disinfect its vehicles every 72 hours, an increase from its regular monthly schedule. Agency officials say it is a preventative measure to limit the reach of the coronavirus. So far, there are no confirmed cases in Allegheny County. 

Cloth cannot be disinfected, but high-touch surfaces such as fare-boxes, pull cords, and poles will be cleaned with a foam spray disinfectant every three days, said Adam Brandolph, a Port Authority spokesperson.

Before announcing the change the agency had to ensure it had enough supplies and people to do the work.

The agency is prepared to respond to a range of situations, said Brandolph.

“Our services are absolutely needed on a daily basis,” he said. “As of right now, and with the information that we have, those services will not change.”  

Brandolph says bus and light-rail operators have been trained in proper hand washing, and encourages riders to follow basic hygiene procedures.  

“There certainly are gaps in what we are able to do,” he said. “The most important and the most effective way to combat the spread of germs is for our riders to wash their hands.”

Port Authority has suspended non-essential travel for employees, and has canceled the remainder of its community listening sessions.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, Port Authority recommends buying passes of shorter durations or instead, adding stored value to Connect Cards.

Margaret J. Krauss is WESA’s senior reporter. She covers development and transportation, and has produced award-winning podcasts on housing, work, and Pittsburgh’s lesser-known history. Before joining the newsroom full time, she covered the challenges facing Pennsylvania cities as a statewide reporter, and spent another life as an assistant editor for National Geographic Kids Magazine in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at mkrauss@wesa.fm.
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