MARTA is launching a hotline for riders to report full buses and giving drivers protective gear in some of its latest coronavirus pandemic responses.

MARTA already has a policy of rear-door boarding to reduce drivers’ contact with riders. Beginning this weekend, according to a press release, “Do Not Sit” signs will be placed on some seats to increase separation between riders and standing in the aisle will not be allowed.

If a bus is too full to board with proper social distancing of at least 6 feet away from other people, riders can call the new hotline and request another bus. The hotline is 404-848-5000. Riders should select option 1 for English or option 2 for Spanish, then select option 1 to make the report.

After concerns from drivers about their safety, MARTA is giving all employees unable to work from a supply of surgical masks, gloves and sanitizing wipes. MARTA is also giving “frontline” and union-represented employees a one-time “hero payment” of $500 and giving an additional 80 hours of paid sick leave “for employees directly affted by COVID-19,” according to the press release.

For more information about MARTA’s COVID-19 responses, see its website here.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.