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Enhanced cleaning protocols on buses, trains amid COVID-19 concerns

While the risk for coronavirus remains low in Maine, bus and train services are taking extra precautions and so are travelers.
Credit: NCM

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine travelers will start to see some subtle changes amid concerns of COVID-19, like more hand sanitizer available on the bus. 

Some drivers for both Greater Portland Metro and Concord Coach Lines are also starting to wear latex gloves.

"We're stepping up our cleaning efforts," Denise Beck, Marketing Manager for Greater Portland Metro, said. "I mean we clean the buses every night anyway."

People appear to be traveling less at this time. Amtrak says it is experiencing some lower demand.

"My daughter and son-in-law bought a house outside of San Francisco so we're going to do some work on the house for them," Kimbark Smith said. 

Kimbark Smith and Judith Mulligan are taking the bus from Portland to Boston to catch a flight cross-country.

They say they couldn't find face masks, so they had some friends send them some from England.

"We both have compromised immune systems so we're not taking any chances," Mulligan said.

Amtrak and several airlines, such as JetBlue, are waiving change fees on existing or new reservations.

Concord Coach Lines customers can use any ticket for services that operate in and out of Boston for up to one year from the date it was purchased.

Buses for both Concord Coach Lines and Greater Portland Metro are being cleaned and sanitized daily. 

"We want to keep [drivers and passengers] safe," Beck said.

On Wednesday night, new banners will be installed inside Greater Portland Metro buses encouraging people to wash their hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue or elbow, and keep a distance from other passengers.

Similar signs also appear at the Portland JetPort. There, 35 hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the gate concourse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is updating its travel information here

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