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MATA Announces Immediate Social Distancing Measures

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March 21, 2020
The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) will implement temporary social distancing measures on its fleet of fixed-route, paratransit vehicles and Trolley cars. These immediate measures are in response to the spread of the COVID-19 disease and the expansion of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris’s emergency orders. There are 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County.

Effective at midnight, March 21, 2020, MATA will implement the following:
  • Customers will be encouraged to use every other seat on a fixed-route bus and Trolley car. Caution tape and signage will be used to help passengers maintain social distance and sit apart.
  • No more than two passengers will be allowed to ride on any MATAplus paratransit vehicle (includes personal care attendant and/or escort).
  • The customer lobby areas and public restrooms at each Transit Center will be closed to the public until further notice.
  • The customer service counters will be open from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday at each Transit Center.
  • In order to access the customer service counters, security officers will only allow three people to enter and exit the building at a time to perform customer service transactions only.
  • The Assessment Center located in the Airways Transit Center is closed to the public until further notice.
Service Levels

At this time, MATA is continuing to operate normal service, but service modifications are actively being discussed in response to declining ridership since the onset of the Coronavirus disease.

Public transportation is a critical service in the community. While it is vital that some levels of public transportation continue since MATA serves customers who may not have access to any other transportation to get to work, to the grocery store and to healthcare facilities, reducing service is likely unavoidable.

“We know that public transportation is the lifeline in our communities,” MATA CEO Gary Rosenfeld said. “At this time, the entire public transportation industry is feeling the financial burdens of COVID-19 and we are all working diligently to continue to operate in a manner that allows for the best service that we can provide at this time.”

As the disease continues to spread, MATA will continue performing its daily fleet and bus shelter cleanings which includes comprehensive disinfecting and sanitizing measures. In addition, customers can practice the following preventative measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
  • Stay home if possible.
  • If you’re sick, stay home.
  • Practice social distancing. Place at least six feet between yourself and others to reduce your risk of being exposed.
  • Wash your handsWash them oftenWash them thoroughly using soap and water for 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer frequently if it is available.
  • Please avoid direct contact with others. No handshaking. A friendly wave, a head nod, a fist or elbow bump are all acceptable forms of greeting others.
  • Eat right (fruits and vegetables) and drink plenty of fluids like water.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose or eyes.
  • Practice respiratory etiquette by using a tissue if coughing or sneezing, then throwing the tissue away into a trashcan and washing your hands.
About MATA
The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) is the public transportation provider for the Memphis area. As one of the largest transit operators in the state of Tennessee, MATA transports customers in the City of Memphis and parts of Shelby County on fixed-route buses, paratransit vehicles and vintage rail trolleys. For more information, visit www.matatransit.com.
 



 
Contact:
Nicole Lacey, Chief Communications Officer
(901) 722-7156

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