MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Metropolitan Council announced on Monday that Metro Mobility buses will begin transporting health care workers to and from work, to help provide a safe and stress-free ride for those on the frontlines of battling COVID-19.
The service is available for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for anyone who works at a healthcare facility, according to a release.
Metro Transit has reduced its services by about 40%, and the Met Council said in their announcement that in response they're looking to provide door-to-door service for doctors, nurses, home health aides, clinicians, and others who may rely on public transportation to reach their jobs.
"For more than 50 years, the Metropolitan Council has been committed to being a regional solution for regional problems," Charlie Zelle, Chair of the Metropolitan Council said. "Healthcare workers are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing critical services to those who need them most. Our strengths lie in getting people safely where they need to go, and right now, our health care heroes need protected, reliable transportation. We are honored to provide this service."
This new service will offer "solo or very small group" on-demand rides for caretakers -- and the organization also says drivers will take extra time to disinfect interior areas of the vehicles after each trip. The buses are also pulled into a shop for sanitization each day.
"Across the state, Minnesotans are stepping up to protect and support one another through this unprecedented crisis," Governor Tim Walz told the media. "I am proud that the Metropolitan Council is taking action to offer door-to-door transportation for the region's health care staff, which ensures our frontline workers can travel safely where they need to be."
To take advantage of the opportunity, essential healthcare workers will need to provide an employee identification badge that shows they are employed by a healthcare facility.
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