Metro Drivers Fear Lack Of Social Distancing, Passenger Face Masks After Latest COVID-19 Test

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Metro has just announced that another bus operator tested positive for COVID-19 and other drivers are understandably scared.

But most of them want to remain anonymous.

“A lot of operators are furious right now,” said one driver. “A lot mixed emotions. A lot of tensions.”

They point to pictures showing still-crowded buses – no social distancing, not everyone wearing masks, despite Mayor Eric Garcetti’s recommendation that everyone going out should.

“There’s a lot of safety issues out there. The mayor’s now saying there’s going to be an enforced order of masks and Metro is going against that,” a driver said. They still want to provide services to people without any masks.”

One driver shared a flyer that’s posted telling them they can’t refuse service: “Mask or no mask you should pick up patrons…even if your bus has a lot of patrons on board it’s up to the customer if they want to get on or not” – not the driver.

So far, a total of 9 operators including a trainee have tested positive. Metro says they’re recommending riders wear masks, but not mandating. And they claim operators are told to use discretion when picking up passengers.

But the director of L.A. County’s public health thinks masks should be mandatory.

“That should change,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer. “The major just issued the order certainly for L.A. city.”

Metro says 300,000 people are using the buses’ and trains’ essential services and they sanitize each one and plan on putting in hand sanitizers for passengers at most major stops.