Fairmont-Marion County, W.Va., Transit Authority is a CTAA member providing rural transit services in West Virginia. The Governor of West Virginia recently announced a “stay-at-home” order, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We spoke with George Levitsky, General Manager at Fairmont-Marion County Transit Authority, to learn how his system is moving forward with this new order in place.
Question: What precautionary steps have you taken in light of the virus?
Answer: We have closed our transfer station; at our main office we have locked the door for walk in information (will let in one at time). We are disinfecting our buses and office areas as often as possible. We have shut down our 14 regular routes M-F and our 2 routes on Saturday. We will operate Monday – Friday and continue to take our regular passengers to work, dialysis, and other essential services that can be accommodated. We have cut our 40 member workforce in two to have less people congregating and still be able to serve our community. We have been in communication with our Division of Public Transit and Public Transit Association as much as possible.
Question: How have you made decisions based on the Governor’s order?
Answer: When looking at our ridership we noticed that paratransit was down but regular routes were staying steady. So based on the Governor’s order we felt we were enabling our passengers and possibly putting our drivers in harm’s way for non-essential trips. We do not want to completely shut down, so we will take appointments and our regulars to work.
Question: How do you predict this order to impact your operations?
Answer: It will affect our ridership and fare income, but we are very fortunate to have an excess levy and we have been preparing financially for something this for the seventeen years since I have been manager. We just hope that it does not last too long.
Question: Are there any other challenges you’re experiencing?
Answer: We only have two telephone lines coming into our operations and the fear of not knowing the future is fearful. Having employees stay healthy and willing to serve our community will be a challenge.
This blog post is part of our latest CTR blog series highlighting the ways in which CTAA members are managing operations under COVID-19. Want to share your COVID-19 experiences with us? Email Taylor Klocke (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and its members believe that mobility is a basic human right. From work and education to life-sustaining health care and human services programs to shopping and visiting with family and friends, mobility directly impacts quality of life.