EL PASO, Texas -- ABC-7 has been taking calls and emails from both Sun Metro riders, as well as drivers, saying more needs to be done to keep city buses cleaned and sanitized.
UTEP student Eileen Perez went before council members during this week's El Paso City Council meeting to tell them she is an avid Sun Metro rider. But she also told them Sun Metro buses are dirty and could transmit dangerous germs.
ABC-7 has learned Sun Metro is considering taking additional steps to clean buses down in light of the cronavirus. The El Paso mass transit provider is in the process of doing more than it is already doing to clean and sanitize buses.
Sun Metro director Jay Banasiak said buses are re-fueled and cleaned every night when those buses come back from their daily runs. According to Banasiak, as many as 35-40,000 El Pasoans ride Sun Metro on a daily bases.
But some people like Perez are saying the nightly cleaning efforts are not enough, especially during these turbulent times where the spread of the virus is such a huge concern.
Banashiak said Sun Metro is planning to clean and sanitize buses twice a day, both at the metro station on Montana, as well as the downtown depot.
“We are talking about maybe getting crews out there at the downtown transit center, and maybe even the east-side transit center. So when buses do get there, they’ll be like a pit crew. They’ll get up there, they’ll at least try to do the front part of the buses, extensions, fare bucks area, those kind of things. And they don’t have a lot of time,” Banasiak explained.
But Banasiak adds they are dealing with some challenges. The cleaning crews Sun Metro wants to hire are on backlog and working on overtime.
The Sun Metro fleet is made up of 172 buses and Banasiak said as more people work from home, ridership is expected to decrease.