How Rapid buses are handling coronavirus concerns


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., (WOOD) — The Rapid is asking bus passengers to avoid all nonessential travel in an effort to combat coronavirus.

The metro Grand Rapids bus service made the announcement Tuesday morning, citing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s calls for social distancing, the goal of which is to slow the spread of the illness so it doesn’t become unmanageable for the health system.

The bus company has also activated a coronavirus task force and an emergency operations center to manage and maintain operations as the situation develops.

“We have a team meeting twice daily internally, just reviewing best practices and operations,” Bill Kirk with The Rapid said.

rapid bus cleaning
A Rapid employee cleans a bus. (Bree Girard/The Rapid)

It has also ramped up cleaning efforts, steaming the inside of buses every night and wiping down surfaces that are frequently touched.

“We have implemented some enhanced cleaning practices overnight on our buses. We’re working here at Rapid Central Station and at Kentwood Station at Woodland Mall to disinfect buses between runs during peak hours of service,” Kirk said.

Kirk says although The Rapid hasn’t imposed bus capacity limits, it is encouraging everyone to be 6 feet away from each other. Passengers are being told to totally forego busing if possible — though the service understands that’s not an option for everyone. 

rapid bus central station
The Rapid Central Station in Grand Rapids. (March 17, 2020)

“We’re considering a lot of different scenarios depending on what directive may be given to us from the federal and state government but as this point, we want to continue providing critical transportation to folks as safely as we can,” Kirk said.

The Rapid says service should be normal over the next few weeks but that could change depending new instructions from government bodies.


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