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RTD Prepares For More Passengers, Face Masks, Social Distancing

DENVER (CBS4)- As several Denver metro area counties plan to lift the stay-at-home orders on Friday, many people will be heading back to work next week. RTD is preparing for more passengers, and taking steps to provide social distancing on buses and trains.

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(credit: CBS)

"We want people to be safe, social distance, and do their part in keeping themselves and others around them safe," explained Lisa Trujillo with RTD.

"It's been pretty good lately," explained Adrienne Guzman, who uses RTD nearly every day. "Some people aren't wearing their masks, but a lot of others are."

RTD is now asking riders, to wear masks while on a train or bus. Before passengers board, a sign reminds them to do their part.

"All of our operators- our train operators and bus operators are wearing masks," Trujillo said. "So we ask that everyone be our partner in safety. Keep themselves safe and keep folks around them safe."

Trujillo said to keep social distancing between the drivers and passengers, people now enter the buses from the back entrance. Because of this, it's hard for operators to enforce the mask rule.

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"We just ask that people wear them, and do their part in helping out," she said. "And now in Denver, it's a requirement to wear a mask when around others."

Riders told CBS4's Makenzie O'Keefe that not everyone on Wednesday, was wearing a mask while using the public transportation. Stephanie Wilkerson said she doesn't like wearing a mask because it's hard to breath, but being in a tight bus, it's important to be safe.

"It's like, all right… you're out and around people with close proximity," she said. "Wear a mask."

RTD is also limiting the number of people who can ride at one time: 15 people are allowed in regular buses, 20 in larger buses and no more than 30 in a light rail car. Some buses, especially routes along Colfax Avenue, are hitting capacity quickly.

"We do have buses on standby," Trujillo said. "So a bus operator will dispatch those buses and they will come shortly thereafter to pick up the remaining passengers."

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File photo from May 2020. (credit: CBS)

As more people begin to head back to work, RTD is also asking riders to fill out a survey that will gauge how the eight-county service area intends to use public transit as COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders expire. More than 2,000 people have already submitted a response. To take part in the survey:

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