Update, 3:17 p.m. Tuesday: Concerned about the spread of Covid-19 on buses, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced that surgical masks will be distributed to passengers who need one. They'll masks be available in a tissue-like dispenser on each bus.
The city will begin mass testing of bus drivers this week, he added. DDOT is essential to this community," Duggan said.
Tuesday morning post:
Glenn Tolbert, union president for DDOT bus drivers, tells WDIV that he's getting calls from concerned workers daily, and he'll protect them if they stay home.
“If the members truly feel they are unsafe, then I need them to stay home and I will protect them,” says Tolbert, who has Covid.
Tobert even suggests it would be a good idea to shut down service temporarily in light of 50-year-old driver Jason Hargrove's death April 1 from the coronavirus.
But Mayor Mike Duggan, who plans to announce new safety protocols for buses at a 3 p.m. press conference Tuesday, has been saying that buses are providing transportation for essential workers, and he's taking steps to try and make rides safe for everyone. Passengers, who now ride for free, have to board in the rear and each bus is sanitized frequently.
"What we need to do is make that bus ride safe," Duggan said at a recent press conference. "I'm hoping we get surgical masks in, that may distributed on the buses."
Drivers are fearful. "I’m terrified of getting it. I’m terrified of taking it home, and that’s not just me,” Gilbert Hampton tells WDIV.
Drivers concerned about bringing a virus home to family members can now stay at the Greektown Casino-Hotel without cost.