Many employers are beginning to look at what it means to get back to the office. While much is still unknown around COVID-19 and the workplace strategies of tomorrow, Midtown Transportation is here to help you identify and navigate commute-related obstacles when planning your return to Midtown.
Changes that are likely to affect your commute + workplace strategies
Will parking demand change? Depending on your parking inventory and your strategies for returning to the office, employers may see changes to parking demand due to an influx of commuters opting to drive over other commute modes, increases in regular telework, etc.
Will your employees have access to childcare? With many daycares still closed, summer camps canceled and school systems unsure about plans this fall, employers should take into consideration their employees’ access to childcare when developing strategies for bringing their workforce back to the office.
Will your workforce return to transit? Transit providers in the Atlanta region have each modified operations on some level. From suspended routes and reduced frequencies to guidance that only essential workers should use MARTA rail, changes to transit service and a desire to avoid crowds might mean employees who previously depended on transit will be looking for alternatives. How will you support these employees getting to work safely and reliably?
Will you need to limit the number of people in the office to accommodate the latest recommendations for safe physical distancing? Many employers are considering ways to implement physical distancing in the office and considering ways to operate at partial capacity to ensure space to do so. Strategies may include staggered schedules and compressed work weeks.
What are the circumstances specific to your workforce? Everyone’s circumstances are different. Understanding the needs of your employees is critical in planning workplace strategies for business continuity. Some employees may be part of or live with someone who is part of an at-risk population for COVID-19, some may be transit dependent, some may not have access to childcare, etc. How is your office incorporating safety, caution and flexibility to respect the needs of all employees — including those who are immunocompromised or have other health risks?
Understand your unique position. While resources for best practices seem to be popping up everywhere, understanding the unique circumstances of your workforce is critical in knowing which workplace and commute strategies will work best for your organization. Midtown Transportation offers an anonymous and customizable employee survey to help your organization identify workplace and commute strategies that best support employees and ensure productivity.
Develop a custom commute program.Schedule time to speak with one of our commute specialists to:
Learn what comparable organizations are doing to prepare for changes in commute behavior such as decreased transit ridership, increased parking demand, staggered telework and in-office schedules, and more
Start your survey efforts and receive a full summary and analysis, including recommended program and policy updates
Receive help implementing and communicating critical program and policy changes
Transit Options for Essential Employees
Service Update (4/20/2020):
EFFECTIVE MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2020- To prioritize essential transit service, MARTA is reducing bus service to the 41 routes listed below.
OPERATIONAL BUS ROUTES BEGINNING 4/20/2020
Including Oakley Industrial Circulator
ALL OTHER BUS ROUTES WILL BE SUSPENDED
Bus customers will enter and exit using the rear doors only, except for customers who require the accessibility ramp.
MARTA is suspending fare collection on buses; For customers transferring to and from the rail system, fares will be paid at the rail stations.
Read MARTA's announcement and view a map of the service reduction here.
Service Update (5/27/2020):
Beginning on June 1, Xpress will be restoring partial service levels. Fare collection remains suspended.
Local service – Starting Monday, June 1, Gwinnett County Transit will restrict boarding on local buses to 15 passengers in order to promote social distancing while still providing essential trips for people who need transit. Once a local bus reaches its 15-passenger capacity, it will display “Bus Full. Please wait for the next bus” until there is room on the bus. Customers should consider only taking essential trips so that others may still be able to get to their essential destinations as well. GCT also recommends passengers wear a facemask while riding on the bus.
Gwinnett County Transit customers using local buses will enter and exit buses using the REAR doors only, except for customers who require the accessibility ramp or kneeling function. Some seats on the local buses will not be accessible to promote social distancing. Because fare box equipment is located at the front door, Gwinnett County Transit is temporarily suspending fare collection on local buses.
Commuter service – Beginning Monday, June 1, Gwinnett County Transit will run commuter express bus routes to downtown Atlanta on a reduced schedule and will continue to suspend fare box collections until further notice.
Gwinnett County Transit encourages riders to follow CDC guidelines and wear a face mask while on the bus. To continue practice social distancing, only 14 passengers will be permitted on a commuter bus at a time.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, when available, hand sanitizer will be placed on buses for passenger use. We are also deep cleaning all buses and vans daily, an increase from once a month. The cleaning products used for deep cleaning kill germs at a rate of 99.9 percent. Gwinnett County Transit strongly recommends that passengers follow the CDC guidance on wearing a facemask.
On May 3, 2020, the Blue and Green Circulators will be combined to run a single route with a modified schedule. All stops on both routes will be served once per hour with service running from 11:30 am to 7:20 pm every day.
To better balance loads and facilitate social distancing, Rapid 10 will serve all Route 10 stops for passengers wanting to disembark. Rapid 10 may pick up passengers waiting at Route 10 bus stops as long as doing so will not inhibit the ability of those already on the bus to practice social distancing.
Service Update (4/15/2020):
Beginning on April 15, CobbLinc will temporarily suspend operation of Routes 101 and 102. Operation of Route 100 will continue with a reduced schedule tha has been modified to serve the Marietta Transfer Center for passengers who would normally use Route 101. Route 102 passengers may consider driving to Busbee Park-and-Ride lot to access Route 100 Express Service. Route 100 will operate fare free.
Need to make an essential trip via bike? Let Midtown Transportation help you plan your route. Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is offering free online city cycling classes to help you reach important destinations like the grocery store, pharmacy, and healthcare providers. When biking, please continue to practice social distancing.
Maintain business continuity with telework assistance from Midtown Transportation. Check out our telework resources for businesses and schedule a meeting with one of our telework experts.
Check out Midtown Alliance's full suite of COVID-19 local information and resources here.