Thursday, April 30, 2009
For Immediate Release
202) 496-4816 firstname.lastname@example.org Public Transportation Is Safe
Public Transit Systems Have Precautionary Procedures In Place
The millions of people who take public transportation should continue to do so, knowing that public transit systems already have procedures in place to deal with seasonal flu outbreaks and are closely monitoring the H1N1 virus (swine flu) outbreak.
"People should continue to ride public transportation. Buses and trains are as safe as any other public area," said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) president William W. Millar. "Public transit systems deal with large numbers of people on a regular basis and already have precautionary procedures in place for both riders and employees"
Transit systems regularly clean facilities, vehicles, and fare vending equipment with high-grade germicidal solutions and will take additional measures as appropriate.
Coordination on this issue is happening between transit systems and federal agencies. Representatives of U.S. public transit systems are receiving alerts from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and can also participate on conference calls with the Department of Homeland Security.
"There is a good line of communication going on between the federal government and the public transportation industry," said Millar. "If we do reach the level of pandemic flu, APTA and its members will follow the lead of the federal government in implementing necessary steps for public transportation"
Public transit employees and customers should be mindful of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) which recommends the following actions to be taken no matter where you are. Found at www.cdc.gov/swineflu/, these recommendations are as follows:
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Public transportation systems remind employees to practice good hygiene and regularly wash their hands, and may also caution their customers through vehicle advertising or announcements.
Representatives from public transportation systems nationwide will be meeting in Seattle next week at the 2009 APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference. A session on how public transportation systems are dealing with the H1N1 virus (swine flu) will take place on Monday, May 4 at 4:00 p.m. PST.
# # # APTA is a nonprofit international association of nearly 1,500 member organizations including public transportation systems; planning, design, construction and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; and state associations and departments of transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical public transportation services and products. APTA members serve more than 90 percent of persons using public transportation in the United States and Canada.