WASHINGTON — Public transit workers in our region say they will keep showing up to work in the face of the coronavirus crisis, but they are scared.
"It’s something you don’t ever want to go through," Metrobus operator Shaun Duncan said.
Metro told riders to only make essential trips starting Wednesday. The transit agency reduced weekday bus service to a Sunday schedule and slowed trains to every 15 minutes. But the transit agency said it is considering slashing service even further to protect its frontline employees.
On Twitter, Metrobus riders said social distancing was impossible with packed buses during the morning rush. During the evening rush, WUSA9 observed full buses at Anacostia Metro.
"I don’t want my children or my family to be infected," Duncan said.
Duncan said he feels too exposed, even behind a plastic shield on most buses.
"We have the most dangerous job in the city right now," Raymond Jackson of ATU Local 689, Metro’s largest union of workers, said.
Workers once again urged riders that they should only travel if absolutely necessary, so frontline public transit workers stay safe.
"It’s tough," Duncan said. "You just do your job the best you can do."
Metro said it will lose an "unprecedented" $50 million each month this lasts and it is asking Congress for emergency funding. The transit agency also said ridership is now down 80%. Metro said that is what it wants right now. It is warning tourists to not take Metro to see Cherry Blossoms this weekend.