- Free Consultations / No Fees Until We Win
- (213) 927-3700
Personal Injury Firm
This week the agency will be installing 500 dispensers, and another 500 in the week to come. One Twitter user shared a picture of the dispenser already installed.
Both Metro and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require riders to wear face masks on public transit. As the agency wrote on their website, Metro is installing the dispensers “to make it easier for riders who may have forgotten or misplaced their mask.” The masks will be available for anyone who needs one, and the dispenser will reportedly be replenished daily.
Moreover, “Metro has also stepped up cleaning of buses and trains and is working to ensure adequate ventilation on its vehicles,” the agency wrote on their website. Scientists have said public transit is one of the most COVID-safe places to be outside the home. Many scientific studies have reassured people that it’s largely safe to take public transportation given that many public transit vehicles are relatively uncrowded, well-ventilated, and usually not the site of the kind of loud conversations that can accelerate the spread of airborne particles. Also, the fact that most transit agencies are requiring personal protective equipment to passengers also factors in.
Some scientists also think that most intra-urban public transit trips are too short for passengers to inhale the high concentration of aerosols necessary for virus transmission. Some epidemiologists even think that shared car services, such as Uber and Lyft, may be more dangerous than mass modes.
Recently, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which includes $30.5 billion for the transit industry, as well as $1.7 billion for Amtrak. The act (H.R. 1319) passed in the House with a vote of 220 – 211. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) said the legislation provides transit agencies critical emergency funding that will allow their services to continue to serve communities throughout the nation.
The Executive Director of the agency, Michael Pimental, noted that public transit was badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, facing unprecedented budget deficits caused by depressed ridership, reduced sales tax and fare revenues, and the high cost of implementing health and safety measures designed to keep our workers and riders safe. As seen in Los Angeles, all of this caused transit agencies to slash service, delay capital improvements and furlough employees at the start of the pandemic. “This funding is critical to a balanced and equitable economic recovery, to our quality of life and to achieving our state’s ambitious environmental goals,” he said.
Moreover, the LA Metro board of directors recently voted to spend millions of dollars to restore transit service that had been slashed throughout the pandemic. Because of it, the agency undertook different cost-saving measures, most notably cutting bus service by 20% in Sept. 2020, which riders spoke out against. As COVID spiked, Metro ridership reportedly declined from a high of 615,000 in Oct. to 475,000 in Dec., but it began rebounding in Jan.