With people returning to work, there's the question of how to get there. Many cities around the world are encouraging biking, walking and other private transportation methods to avoid clogging public transit systems that could be cesspools for the coronavirus as lockdowns ease. But for those without other options, taking trains, subways and buses will again become a part of daily life, though it will be anything but mundane. Here's how four cities are handling the return of the commuter:
- Paris: Some one million stickers have gone up across Paris public transportation networks to enforce social distancing measures. Only those with approval from work or for a doctor's appointment are allowed to use the trains, buses and tram during peak commuting hours. Masks are also obligatory, and cameras are being placed at the popular Châtelet station to monitor mask use through recognition software.
- Rome: Lawmakers in the Italian capital are considering implementing varying public transportation ticket prices depending on the time of day to manage crowds during the start of its Phase 2 of deconfinement. For commuters, the government is also considering implementing separate entry and exit routes and regular hand-sanitizing points. Further, the Ministry of Health is encouraging commuters to buy tickets online and through apps. In Rome, tourist buses are being used to ease travel.
Passengers wearing masks on the metro in Taipei. — Photo: Jin Liwang/Xinhua/ZUMA
- Taipei: The Taiwan Railways Administration began requiring temperature-taking using infrared cameras and the Taipei metro has a similar system. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is banned from boarding. With its proximity to China, Taiwan enforced early containment measures nationwide, including daily and even hourly cleanings for trains and buses. Those arriving in Taiwan are banned from public transport and instead take epidemic-prevention taxis. Looking ahead, Taipei is also testing driverless buses, which eliminate drivers potentially becoming contaminated.
- Casablanca: In March, the metro in Morocco's economic capital limited tram capacity to 100 passengers per vehicle on the city's two lines. Turnstiles, ticket validators and other equipment are cleaned regularly, with trams disinfected each night. The frequency of trams was also increased to spread out passengers, with similar measures in place for the tram system in Morocco's capital Rabat.
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