What is the best way to learn about service changes?
How long will the buses be fare free?
At this time Valley Transit is scheduled to remain fare free until 12/31/2020. The Valley Transit Board of Directors will review the possibility of a continuation of the Fare Free status again at the December Board Meeting.
Do I have to wear a mask on the bus?
Yes. Per the Department of Health Order of the Secretary of Health 20.03.1 and Governor’s Proclamation 20-25.6, all residents of Washington are required to wear a face covering while in a public setting. Valley Transit has cloth masks available to hand out on buses to those who do not have one (while supplies last).
What if I can’t wear a mask, or I forget my mask?
Some people may have a health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. If this applies to you as a passenger, Valley Transit will accept a face shield as a reasonable accommodation in order for you to board the vehicle. If you are unable or unwilling to wear a face shield, you will not be permitted to ride with us.
If you forgot your mask, our driver’s have them available to hand out (while supplies last).
I feel like the driver or another passenger is discriminating against me for not wearing a mask, what should I do?
If something has happened that makes you feel discriminated against, please contact us as soon as possible at 509-525-9140 or through email at email@example.com
What is Valley Transit doing to make the buses safe?
Valley Transit has taken several steps to protect everyone on the buses:
- Implemented a fare free service model (so no one has to touch money, or get too close to one another to access a fare box)
- Frequently disinfecting high touch areas with EPA approved cleaners
- Disinfecting every vehicle, every night, with heavy duty EPA approved cleaners
- Blocking off seating to maintain adequate physical distance between passengers, and from the driver
- Instituting rear-door entry, also for social distancing purposes
- Requiring everyone on board to wear a mask
- Waived an existing policy prohibiting face masks onboard
What should a passenger do to stay safe from COVID-19, and help prevent the spread?
Passengers should make sure to always wear their mask, or face shield if they are unable to wear a mask, and to maintain social distancing. They should only sit in available seats, and not any that are marked as unusable due to social distancing requirements. Additionally, if they are feeling unwell in any way, awaiting test results, or have tested positive for COVID-19 they should not board any public transit vehicles.
What is Valley Transit doing to keep employees from spreading illness?
Valley Transit has all employees do a self-screening for common COVID-19 symptoms each morning before reporting to work. When they arrive at work each employee has their temperature taken, and if they have a fever, they are immediately sent home. At work all employees wear masks, maintain social distancing, and have hand sanitizer available at all times in case they aren’t near a sink when they need to clean their hands. In addition to these safe guards, Valley Transit provides Supplementary Leave for COVID-19 to ensure that no employee is forced to choose between their paycheck, and protecting their coworkers and our passengers from COVID-19.
What should I do if I see another passenger who appears ill?
Please do not confront any other passengers. You can either report your concern directly to the driver of the bus, or you can call 509-525-9140 to speak with a member of the administrative team.
How do I know if I am 6 feet away from another passenger?
We’ve done all of the measuring for you. As long as you only sit in the allowed seats, and stay out of any row that is marked as unavailable, you will be the required safe distance from all other passengers.
Why did a bus pass me when I was at a stop?
We are currently limited to only six passengers per bus, and this means we can only seat 22% of our usual ridership. This has unfortunately led to the rare instance of having to pass up a waiting passenger if the bus is at maximum capacity. When the driver sees that their bus is at max capacity, they will change the bus header sign to indicate that the bus is full so you know this before it reaches your stop. If you have questions about this, or how to get where you need to go, please call us at 509-525-9140.
Are any services restricted right now?
At this time services are reduced due to multiple restrictions COVID-19 created. These have fluctuated throughout the pandemic, so please read the current service levels here.
When will services return to normal?
The ability to reinstate services is heavily dependent upon COVID-19 restrictions and having staff availability. Valley Transit will not be able to return to pre-pandemic service levels until Walla Walla County reaches Phase Four. At this time, Governor Inslee has halted all phase changes for the state of Washington, so we do not have a projected potential date for moving out of Phase Two.
What changes have there been to Dial-a-Ride services?
The delivery of Dial-a-Ride services has not been significantly changed, but the number of vehicles running in the service has been lowered. This has been done in a way to match the overall decrease in ridership that has been seen, so the experience for those still using Dial-a-Ride should be effectively the same other than the requirement to wear a mask.
When does Job Access start with services reduced?
Evening Job Access begins just as regular public transportation services end. At this time Valley Transit is not running evening services, so Job Access begins at 6:00 pm in the evenings. Morning service has not been altered, and still begins at 5:00 am. If there is a change in service that alters when Job Access is starting in the evenings it will be listed here.
Is the bus limited to 6 people, or can my family member sit with me?
The bus is limited to six people; however, you can have a single household member join you in your seat. Because of this it may be possible that a bus will have more than six people on it. However, large household groups cannot take up unavailable seats to travel together. Social distancing from passengers who are not from your household must still be maintained.
Can the HVAC system spread COVID-19?
No. We use MERV 8 filters with a special anti-microbial coating on them to trap any disease particles before they can be pulled into the circulating air system. Additionally, once a month we change those filters and clean out the HVAC system with an EPA approved cleaner as an added precaution.
Where can I aquire a Job Access pass?
Job Access passes can be purchased on the Token Transit App. If you have never purchased your pass in this way before you will need to partner will Valley Transit to get your phone number approved to purchase a mobile pass for Job Access. If you do not have a smart phone, Valley Transit can coordinate an appointment to sell you a physical pass. To get your phone number approved for digital passes, or to schedule a pass purchase appointment please call 509-525-9140.
How late can I call to schedule a Job Access ride during the week?
At this time our staff is only available for ride scheduling between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, and between 10:45 am and 6:00 pm on Saturday. If you call after those hours, you will be able to leave a voicemail, but if you were trying to schedule a ride for the next day it may not be possible for the scheduler to fit it in when they arrive the next morning. Because of this, we recommend booking your trips with as much advance notice as possible. We are currently able to book trips up to 7 days in advance.
What should I do if I have concerns, or observe a bus that needs attention?
If you have a concern that is can be solved in three minutes or less, please feel free to share it with your driver. If finding an answer for you, or correcting an issue with a bus would take more than a few minutes, we recommend that you call our main facility instead. This way someone else can focus on quickly addressing your concern while the driver continues to keep passengers moving. We can be reached at 509-525-9140.
How can I claim something from the lost and found?
At this time, you must make an appointment to pick up an item from lost and found. Call us at 509-525-9140 to coordinate this.
How can I contact the administration office?
Staff can be reached by calling 509-525-9140. If you are unable to make a phone call to address your concern, we are also reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org
My employer doesn‘t think public transit is safe, and doesn’t want me to work if I use it. Is there anything I can give them to help assure them it is safe for me to use public transit?
Thank you for reaching out. We have created a one-page document for this exact purpose. Send us an email at email@example.com and we will provide you with this poster to give to your employer. If your employer still has questions, you can also encourage them to call us for more information at 509-525-9140.