VRE releases videos highlighting passenger health and safety efforts
Designed to inform current, former and prospective passengers of the efforts being employed to protect their health and safety, a series of videos has been released by the Virginia Railway Express . VRE created the videos to show how it has gone beyond industry norms in preparing for the safe return of riders.
“Safety has, since VRE’s inception, been our priority,” said Rich Dalton, the commuter rail system’s acting CEO. “In these unprecedented times, we are taking extraordinary precautions to protect the health and well-being of our riders and train crews. We want to assure commuters that, when they are ready to ride again, we are here to welcome them back in the safest and healthiest way possible.”
The videos highlight VRE’s enhanced cleaning protocols, installation of social-distancing decals and hand-sanitizer dispensers on railcars and platforms, passenger and train crew use of facial coverings, mobile ticketing app, and new web page detailing the number of available seats in use per train. VRE is using a variety of social media platforms to send people to its website, where the videos are posted.
VRE has experienced a more than 90-percent decline in ridership due to the ongoing national health crisis. In mid-March the commuter rail system halved the number of weekday trains it runs to eight – four northbound and four southbound – on both the Fredericksburg and Manassas lines. As ridership gradually increased, VRE added a round trip train on the Fredericksburg line in late July to ensure the greatest amount of social distancing for passengers.
The 13th largest commuter rail service in the U.S., VRE is a transportation partnership of the Northern Virginia and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commissions. VRE’s mission is to provide safe, cost effective, accessible, reliable, convenient, and customer responsive commuter-oriented passenger rail service. The 4.5 million pre-COVID rides the railroad provided annually removed some 100 million vehicle miles from Northern Virginia’s interstates. Learn more at www.vre.org.