Posted: August 11, 2020
Beginning Sunday, August 23, DART is requiring that riders wear a mask or face covering when they ride the bus. Riders are encouraged to wear their own reusable mask or face covering but disposable masks will be available at the front of each bus. Small children and anyone with a medical exemption will not be required to wear a mask.
Board approved mask requirement
The DART Board of Commissioners approved the mask requirement at its meeting earlier this week. Scientific evidence is clear that wearing a mask or face covering is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially in indoor or enclosed spaces, like DART buses. DART staff recommended the Board vote on this issue after receiving recommendations from riders and employees calling for clarification on mask requirements. DART has been strongly encouraging passengers to wear masks since COVID-19 began spreading in central Iowa. DART operators have been required to wear a mask or face shield while driving since June.
Ongoing safety measures
The new mask requirement is just one of the many safety measures DART has taken to promote the health and wellbeing of its employees and riders. Some other measures include:
- The installation of temporary plastic barriers between the fareboxes and the operator’s seat on all buses;
- providing hand sanitizer for riders on the bus; and
- limiting capacity on each bus to around 50% by blocking off seats to promote social distancing.
- daily cleaning and sanitizing of all DART vehicles and facilities with regular disinfecting of high-touch areas throughout the day;
- providing PPE for all employees;
- requiring employees to complete wellbeing check before work each day, which includes a temperature check;
- limiting the number of people inside DART Central Station; and
- operating extra buses on busy routes during peak travel times to prevent overcrowding on buses.
August service updates
The new mask requirement will coincide with DART’s next adjustment to service on August 23. With this service update, many routes will be restored to the frequency and schedules they operated before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Routes that are still running reduced service, will still see an increase in trips or frequency. Service on two routes, Local Route 13 and the Link Shuttle, that had been temporarily suspended will be restored. Finally the D-Line route will re-align to travel primarily on Locust and Grand throughout the East Village with the opening of the Locust Street Bridge.
Riders can view route schedules, and learn more about this service change at ridedart.com/August.