Seattle's iconic monorail service running again
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In what could be a sign that things are starting to return to normal again in Seattle, the city's iconic monorail resumed service this week albeit with limited service hours and with safety measures in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
According to a written statement from the agency, the service resumed Thursday with operating hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends. Depending on how riders respond, the service could adjust its operating hours.
"After the first week, Seattle Monorail Services and Seattle Center will evaluate ridership usage to determine when to expand hours of service to better fit the needs of the community," a spokeswoman said in the statement. "It is anticipated that expanded hours of operation would still be constrained compared to normal hours of service for this time of the year but would provide greater accessibility to the system."
Several local transit agencies, which halted or curtailed service because of COVID-19, are beginning to resume their operations, including Sound Transit.
The monorail is slated to resume collecting fares throughout its system on June 1.
According to Seattle monorail officials, its service will include the following measures to limit the spread of coronavirus:
— Temporary suspension of cash transactions. Seattle Center Monorail will continue to accept ORCA cards, credit/debit cards and mobile tickets through the Transit Go Ticket app in order to reduce the transmission of germs.
— The monorial will request that all passengers wear a face covering (non-medical masks, bandanas, scarves, and cloth may be used).
— Social distancing must be observed in the stations and on the trains (designated markings on the floor for spacing and blocked off seats on the train).
— The area around the Monorail driver seat is blocked off to keep the driver separate from the public. Similarly, the doors closest to the driver seat have been temporarily turned off to prevent passenger boarding/disembarking near the driver.
— Monorail cashiers will work inside of the ticket booths and will not be selling tickets on board the train.
— The Monorail team will be disinfecting high touch surfaces at the stations and on the train every 3-4 hours. Only one train will be in operation per day; a deep cleaning of the train occurs before it is put into service.
— All employees are required to wear company-provided masks for the duration of their shifts.
This news article first appeared on KOMO News.
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