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The Rapid requires riders to wear masks

The Rapid said the change comes in accordance with the revised stay at home executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Credit: The Rapid
A worker performs the nightly steam cleaning, using approved antiseptic agent on all surfaces throughout the entire vehicle interior. The temperature for this cleaning is 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Riders who travel by Rapid bus in Grand Rapids are being told to wear a mask because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to ridetherapid.org, riders must now wear a covering over their nose and mouth, such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief, when on the bus.

The Rapid said the change comes in accordance with the revised stay at home executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The busing company has also created a special section of its website to help riders stay informed about changes and precaution changes the company is   taking amid the pandemic. 

The following statement is posted on the website about the most recent changes: 

"Like you, we're closely watching what is happening with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Health and safety are of the utmost importance to us in our efforts to get you where you need to go. We understand there is much concern regarding the safety of public transit and public events. This page will be updated as we have information to share.

We regularly clean our vehicles and continue to evaluate our cleaning procedures. However, it's important to keep in mind that the surfaces where people touch – bars or doors –  should never be considered sanitized. These surfaces are only clean until someone touches it or coughs/sneezes nearby. If we’re to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we need your help."

RELATED: Bus drivers push for more routes, protective gear after The Rapid reduces passenger capacity

 See the current routes offered by the Rapid here. 

The Rapid reduced its service schedule on March 24. Buses run every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Rapid has also reduced seating  capacity on DASH buses to 10 people and 15 on the Silver Line and other fixed routes.

Credit: Karen Stilson
Inside a Rapid bus before the number of passengers was reduced on April 1.

Rapid drivers can pass stops if their bus is at capacity. In those cases, "an extra bus will be dispatched to pick up passengers at missed stops as quickly as possible,"  according to a previous statement from the company. 

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