Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Dutch buses and trams have used tape to section off the drivers from passengers. But soon, “cough screens” will be implemented to further protect drivers.

In the coming weeks, transparent plastic screens will be installed by the driver’s seat of buses and trams in the Netherlands. This way, drivers will be protected whilst passengers can once again enter the vehicle from the front.

Fare dodgers

OVNL (Public Transport Netherlands) told De Telegraaf that since passengers have had to enter the buses and trams from the back, more people have been able to dodge fares. “Since the corona crisis, there has been an average of about 20% fare dodgers, because the front door remains closed to protect the driver,” says chairman Pedro Peters. This is up from around 2% before coronavirus restrictions.

Further measures

In addition to the “cough screens”, a one-way flow of passengers will be required, whereby entry is only at the front and exit only at the back. At every stop, drivers will be required to ventilate the vehicle by opening all doors. “The chance of exposure to the virus is thus even smaller, in addition to the already mandatory face masks”, says the OVNL chairman.

The first Dutch buses with screens will be out in September, and all 6000 vehicles nationwide will have them in place by October.

Do you think these measures are enough? How safe do you feel using public transport in the Netherlands during coronavirus? Follow DutchReview on Facebook for more Dutch news.

Feature Image: Alwin Kroon/Unsplash

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