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Buses are packed before Phase 2 causes problems in Rome!

Posted on April 16th, 2020

by Patrizia Di Gregorio


Transport workers are complaining that the some bus lines are not respecting distancing measures.  We aren’t in phase 2 yet! How can we guarantee our safety?

Tickets sold or stamped at turnstiles will be used into a person counter, mandatory masks for everyone. They will use technology to aid controllers to know in real time the number of people in the metro. What will it be like to take a bus or a metro after the coronavirus? For now we can only imagine.  The authorities and Atac are studying still. Meanwhile before phase 2, problems are already beginning to appear.

Passengers are too close

Local public transport has been running for a month at reduced rate.  Yet the first gatherings are already forming on  buses. Being at a distance, even during the lockdown phase, is a challenge. Workers are talking about gatherings on several lines at peak times, in a letter sent to top management that RomaToday.  The problem already exists, without the need to go to phase 2, which is to gradual reopening the city. Too many people, too close and without countermeasures to be taken.

Bus drivers these days have been reporting more traffic, on bus line #360, for one, the line that connects the Parioli to San Giovanni, or on the 792 that leads from San Giovanni to La Pisana.

Workers are asking to “intensify the lines of concern immediately”. don’t forget that at the beginning covid19 emergency, from mid-March public transportation was drastically reduced, with summer time hours.

How to manage Buses and metro in phase 2

Now that things seem to be increasing, even if we are still in phase 1, we are asking to restore the most critical lines at an ordinary rate. It is not enough though. The growth of passengers, timid but sufficient to sound the alarm, raises questions on which it is good to be hyper-prepared: managing passengers, and asking them to respect a meter of distance between passengers will be tough.

“It is still to be understood how to do this in order to avoid crowding” commented Rome Masod Marino Masucci, secretary of the Filt Cisl Lazio. “It seems that some technological tools can be used to count how many people are on the metro to say, by controlling everything remotely, it will certainly still need physically present staff to enforce the rules”. Difficult to imagine, especially considering the crowds of people loading and unloaded every hour at the exchange points, at the stations, at the hundreds and hundreds of commuters ready to pour onto the docks to to work.

How long will they have to wait, given that cars in service is likely to the same? “Maybe on the buses it will be easier” explains Masucci, imagining to transform the controllers into people counters. A sort of old “ticket seller” placed at the front door.  Here too, however, getting off the bus or metro will be a problem.

Of course it will be desirable to impose the obligation of masks, as requested also by rsu. A basic measure that would help where there were loopholes in mass management.

Buses are packed before Phase 2 causes problems in Rome! 8

 


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