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You’ve probably heard these health and safety guidelines thousands of times since March, from VRE as well as from local leaders and national health organizations:
- Wash your hands, and sanitize your hands as needed
- Practice social distancing
- Wear a face covering per the executive order (constructed of multiple layers per the Centers for Disease Control)
- Stay home if you are sick, etc.
There is little dispute to the effectiveness of these measures in containing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and other contagious diseases.
What you may not have heard as often is why it is so critically important to follow these guidelines when taking public transportation. In order to get back to normal as safely as we can on VRE’s trains, we are calling on all of our riders to be respectful by adhering to these basic rules. Right now, it is all about respect for your fellow VRE passengers and our crews who continue to provide these essential services.
Successful Mitigation Requires a Partnership
VRE is doing everything we can to establish safety and health protocols to ensure the safe return of our riders, but of course you, the rider, play the most vital role in virus mitigation efforts. For example, VRE railcars are disinfected twice a day with special attention paid to frequently touched surfaces. Even with the extra precautionary steps taken by our teams to defeat the spread of the virus, we all need VRE passengers to comply with these guidelines to be as successful as possible.
Wearing a face covering on board as well as at the stations is a requirement for most people per the Governor's office and may even be the most important step we all can take together in order to return to more normal conditions. Even if you are wearing a face covering, however, please keep six feet between you and others. It's a courtesy to the other passengers and an extra layer of protection for everyone.
Also, while we clean our ticket vending machines daily, the best way to ensure a clean surface is to "put the ticket machine in your pocket" -- meaning it may be time to consider the switch to VRE Mobile. VRE Mobile allows you to purchase and validate tickets from your phone. If you have questions about VRE Mobile or would like assistance to switch from paper, please visit vre.org/mobile.
Words of Gratitude and a Pledge to our Riders
We are sincerely grateful to our riders during this time for maintaining social distancing from both passengers and crew. To our loyal VRE riders who have been teleworking, we thank you for doing your part and look forward to welcoming you back. We are proud that our passengers who are not able to telework during this time continue to trust us to provide a safe and convenient commute, and will continue to look for ways to improve upon our already clean and safe service.
As ridership begins to grow, we will consider adding more trains in order to maintain social distancing. We continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and other federal and state agencies and will adjust our protocols and schedules as needed to further protect the health and safety of our passengers.
- Trains 300 & 307 will Supplement S Schedule
Effective Monday, July 27: Fredericksburg Line trains 300 and 307 will supplement our reduced-service “S” schedule.
- Rider Responsibilities
Even with the extra precautionary steps taken by our teams to defeat the spread of the virus, we all need VRE passengers to comply with these guidelines to be as successful as possible.
- Enhanced Cleaning Procedures
VRE railcars are disinfected twice a day, after morning and evening service, with special attention given to frequently touched surfaces.
- More on Social Distancing
VRE is committed to social distancing to the extent possible. Under our current plan, roughly a third of our seats are available to passengers.
- What to Expect in the Coming Weeks
Throughout June, we'll be installing graphics to make social distancing on our trains and at our stations as simple as possible. Plus, we will make hand sanitizer available to our riders.