BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Drivers for the Maryland Transit Administration tell WJZ they have been worried about the COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning. Now, their worst fear is becoming a reality as an operator tests positive for the coronavirus.

“You don’t hear nothing about the bus drivers until something happens to the bus drivers but they need a plan because something happened to a bus driver,” said a driver who wished to remain anonymous.

“We come to work to do a job and this interferes with it because we’re scared. A lot of us are scared, all of us are scared.” the driver said.

MTA said they have tried to flatten the curve by forcing passengers to enter the buses from the back doors and cutting down on the number of operational routes. They said they disinfect the buses everyday.

“Its pandemonium around here everyone is scared once they heard about the first driver its just mayhem its mayhem,” the driver said.

MTA said the driver last reported to work 6 days ago, Thursday, March 19, but as a precaution they have closed the eastern bus division so it can undergo thorough cleaning and disinfection.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE: 

“Other drivers are worried they have come in contact with the infected driver, but MTA is not telling them who the driver is. He said, “Very scary, we dont know what to think you just dont want it. I dont want it I pray the driver recovers and his family is safe but nobody wants that everybody just wants to live a healthy life.”

In a statement, MTA said:

“MDOT MTA encourages riders to use transit for essential travel only. Essential travel means taking trips to work, hospitals, health care providers, pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, food distribution centers, schools, to provide care for family members, and other similar destinations.” 

The Maryland Transit Administration said it is working diligently to reopen the Eastern bus division as quickly as possible.

Buses are disinfected daily. Out of an abundance of caution, MDOT MTA has closed the Eastern bus division so that it can undergo a thorough cleaning and disinfecting.

As a result of the temporary closure, the following routes will experience service impacts:

  • CityLink Navy, Orange, Blue, Pink, Lime and Gold
  • LocalLink 21, 22, 28,36, 56, 59, 62, 63, and 65
  • Express BusLink 105, 120, and 160

MDOT MTA encourages riders to use transit for essential travel only. Essential travel means taking trips to work, hospitals, health care providers, pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, food distribution centers, schools, to provide care for family members, and other similar destinations.

MDOT MTA is working diligently to reopen the Eastern bus division as quickly as possible.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachael Cardin

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