Toledo bus drivers keeping the wheels turning despite pandemic

Since the pandemic began, 9 TARTA employees have tested positive for COVID-19. 4 of them are drivers.

TOLEDO, Ohio – We heard a lot about frontline workers during the pandemic. Doctors and nurses are probably the first ones that come to mind, but bus drivers have been a lifeline for many people over the past nine months as well.

Arbira Crawford Drayton has been driving for TARTA for more than 30 years and is ready to retire after this year.

Regardless of her upcoming retirement, however, she realizes how important public transport has become in recent months.

“I had a man today who said to me, ‘Thank you, we appreciate that. “We are the essential contributors and we continue to do a good job,” said Drayton.

Since the pandemic began, nine TARTA employees have tested positive for COVID-19, four of whom are drivers.

RELATED: 2 Additional TARTA Employees Test Positive for COVID-19

TARTA has taken precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in public transport, e.g. B. the installation of plastic dividers in buses in summer.

The current COVID-19 regulations also require that all TARTA drivers wear a mask and only 10 people are allowed to sit on the bus at a time, which can often mean that many drivers have to wait for the next bus.

“My thing is I give them 10 fingers and a thumb up. You have some people who want to be defiant and say, ‘I’m not going to wear the mask. ‘And this is where the road overseer has to come,’ said Drayton.

Despite many new challenges, Drayton understands that many people depend on her to get where they need to go.

“They know it’s worth knowing that we can find someone who may not have transportation to where they need to go,” Drayton said.

RELATED: TARTA adds protective plastic dividers to buses to minimize contact

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