DASH is celebrating our DASH family of essential transit workers, especially those whose work is unfamiliar to passengers.
As a public transit agency, the safety of our passengers, employees and community is critical for DASH. Safety and Security Manager Stephanie Salzone leads DASH’s daily efforts to create and maintain a safe environment within the agency’s facility and onboard its buses. She and her colleagues implement and enforce the agency’s safety policies onboard buses and within DASH’s facility.
“While my responsibilities are primarily focused internally on employees and our facility, they’re also about protecting passengers as well,” said Salzone.
She also collects and examines data and trends, including analyzing accidents and other incidents reported on DASH buses. Within DASH, Salzone enforces and evaluates existing policies and proposes new ones as necessary. Even before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, Salzone and her colleagues were already taking steps to meet this new challenge.
“It changed everything,” said Salzone. “It became my sole focus – just determining and investigating all the different things we could do to protect our employees and passengers.”
The measures that Salzone and DASH settled on are varied and take different approaches to combating COVID-19. They include requiring masks onboard all DASH vehicles and within DASH’s facility. Fares have also been temporarily suspended to reduce crowding around fareboxes and promote safe distancing. DASH also maintains a supply of masks for passengers who forget to bring one or cannot delay their trip to obtain one.
“We try to be transparent, but there is still a lot of what we do to keep our employees and riders safe that the public doesn’t see. We are still fighting to keep everyone safe just as hard now as we were on day one, and we are not letting up,” said Salzone.
Of all the measures passengers don’t see, cleaning and disinfecting is perhaps the most critical of the protocols Salzone oversees. In addition to thoroughly cleaning each bus before it is put into service, DASH implemented a disinfection technique called fogging. This method, proven effective against COVID-19, uses a vapor mist disinfectant that is sprayed over surfaces and is more effective than cleaning by hand. All DASH buses are fogged weekly. Additionally, the facility and impacted vehicles are fogged whenever a DASH employee tests positive for COVID-19.
“I think it is important to recognize the risk that our employees, particularly our operators and maintenance professionals, take every day that they come to work. They’re the ones doing the hard work and putting it all out there. They’re taking that risk not just to support their families, but also for passengers to keep our community moving.”