AppalCart implements precautions during coronavirus pandemic

Moss Brennan, Reporter

AppalCart will run its break schedule effective March 16 which includes five routes with seven buses. AppalCart has also implemented several policies to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Staff have been assigned to clean the operating buses multiple times a day.

In an internal memo, AppalCart also asked employees who experience flu-like symptoms or fever to stay at home and alert their supervisor about their condition.

The sign on AppalCart buses during the coronavirus pandemic.

“AppalCart is exercising extreme caution as we deal with the COVID-19 event,” said Director of AppalCart Craig Hughes. “We have posted notices on our vehicles asking those that may be exhibiting symptoms or who may have been exposed, not to ride.  We have begun limiting access to our facility on 105 Bypass.”

AppalCart is not currently limiting the number of people in the vehicles.

“Ridership is low right now due to the extended break and we anticipate it to remain that way until we are through the COVID-19 event,” Hughes said. “However, this is a fluid situation and we are prepared to institute addition measures if the situation warrants that could limit the number of passengers on the bus at one time.”

Hughes also said that because routes are already limited at this time, additional restrictions would be an added challenge for those that rely on AppalCart.

AppalCART’s leave policy will remain in place except for one change during the COVID-19 event:

  • Full-Time Employees: Older employees or those with health issues may request leave to avoid health complications during the COVID-19 event. Once annual leave and sick leave have been exhausted, employees may request leave without pay. This exception is only being allowed during the COVID-19 event.

“We are allowing our drivers that may be at risk for serious health complications to take time off as a precautionary measure,” Hughes said. “We are screening passengers when they call to schedule a demand response trip. At this time, we are not transporting anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.”