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'Shut It Down': MTA Drivers Worried About COVID-19, Say Riders Now 'Mostly Homeless And Sick People'

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - At least 16 MTA employees have tested positive for COVID-19 - and bus drivers say they're scared.

Investigative reporter David Goldstein talked with some who believe the system should be shut down.

Bus drivers say MTA isn't doing enough to keep them safe. They're worried about their safety as well as passengers.

"We're putting our health at risk. Are we happy? No we're not," said one bus driver.

Others Goldstein spoke with say the department isn't doing enough to keep them safe. And there's only one alternative.

"If you don't have a solid plan to keep us safe, not only us but the public, then yes, definitely shut it down," one said.

Metro has reduced bus service by up to 20% because of the coronavirus. So far at least four drivers have tested positive.

They say they've only received a tiny bottle of sanitizer and one mask and glove. Some received theirs just last week.

"I was very mad and upset. Multi-million dollar mean to tell me you cant get a mask and glove for your frontline employees?" a driver said. "That's ridiculous"'

And passengers are worried as well.


"It's definitely shocking to me...going to take precautions, watch out what I touch and breathing in," said one passenger.

Metro says they don't want to shut down the system because first responders rely on it. But drivers say that's not what they see.

"We're not picking up any nurses or lawyers or cops," a driver said. "It's just mostly homeless and sick people who are riding the bus at this time."

But Metro says they'll keep it going. Gloves and masks are being distributed as soon as they can get them in. And sanitizing dispensers are being installed at most major stops.

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