Bus sharing firm suggests how to implement social distancing post-pandemic
Posted: 28 April 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
UK bus sharing company Zeelo has suggested how transport operators and agencies can look to allow social distancing on buses while still offering efficient and sustainable services.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on transportation around the world and the fallout has impacted lives in a number of ways. However, as countries begin to ease restrictions and lift some travel bans, how will social distancing apply in the coming months?
UK bus sharing company Zeelo has suggested that social distancing will remain on transport, and operators and providers must look to offer technology-enabled services so that staff and passengers can continue to travel safely and efficiently.
The company has identified two primary challenges post-pandemic:
- For many bus routes, demand was just enough before COVID-19 to make it worth running, but now as we start to re-open parts of our economy, we will suddenly see a growing number of ‘loss-making’ routes
- As we re-open, the bottleneck of peak travel times will be challenging to manage. Social distancing will be almost impossible at current capacity.
Zeelo has suggested that, in order to combat these challenges, ensuring that safety is a key priority, routes should only be run at times when demand requires it. It has reportedly proved in its own services that enforcing measures are possible by offering access to additional capacity through a network of vetted coach operators with otherwise unused vehicles.
Software and a 24/7 operations centre to enforce infection control measures to keep riders safe is also a means of addressing the above challenges, Zeelo pointed out.
Other steps include:
- Services should stick to a strict capacity limit
- Social distancing on board
- PPE for all drivers
- Vehicles are fully sanitised before and after each journey/transfer.
“We have already seen great success supporting the COVID-19 effort with the changes that we have put in place and we are ready to work with our operator partners, business and the public sector in the coming days, weeks and hopefully, for a continued, safer, more sustainable future,” Zeelo wrote in a statement.