Winnipeg Transit needs to clean and sanitize its hundreds of buses daily to reduce the chance of drivers and passengers contracting COVID-19, says the union that represents drivers and staff.
The Amalgamated Transit Union said in a statement Sunday its position is that "the city should follow the lead of the Toronto Transit Commission, which is disinfecting each of its buses with ES65H on a daily basis."
"We have a fleet of over 600 buses and we’d like to see Transit ensuring that each bus is properly disinfected, utilizing the proper equipment on a daily basis. We are again calling on the director of Winnipeg Transit to provide a public update to our members and riders detailing their plans for the week ahead to assure public confidence.
"We would also hope that the city will reconsider the proposed cuts to bus-washing and servicing as part of their budget deliberations this week."
City spokesman Kalen Qually confirmed 88 buses were disinfected on Saturday.
"With additional staff working (Sunday), we expect to have cleaned between 200 to 250 buses in total this weekend," Qually said.
"As we further refine the disinfection program next week, we anticipate that number will increase significantly."
Qually said Transit staff is using ES65H to sanitize parts of buses that are touched a lot, and the city said on social media it is getting new equipment to sanitize buses.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.
Updated on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 11:02 PM CDT: Edited