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PVTA Drivers' Union Says Some Members Have Caught COVID-19

A PVTA bus makes a stop at a Stop and Shop supermarket.
Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/87549811@N03
A PVTA bus makes a stop at a Stop and Shop supermarket.

The union representing some Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus drivers said five of its members have come down with COVID-19.

Jim Harrington with the Amalgamated Trainst Union Local 448 said despite the illnesses, the union is generally pleased with safety measures taken by the PVTA to protect drivers. They include providing personal protective gear, a reduced schedule and using the rear door for passengers getting on and off.

Harrington said many drivers are still nervous.

"They're afraid about bringing it home," he said. "When you ask a driver, they're more concerned about their family than they are themselves. A lot of them have little kids at home or elderly parents are living with them."

Harrington said one source of concern is passenger behavior.

"A lot of people are getting on without their masks on, or they don't have them," he said.

The PVTA said recently that ridership was down about 80 percent during the pandemic.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.
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