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  • Workplace safety begins with the commute

    No matter what mode of travel you choose to get to work, taking safety precautions will help lower your COVID-19 risk and help protect co-workers and household members. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control recommended driving alone, using active modes of transportation (bike and walk), or carpooling with household members when feasible. For some, public transit is still the most viable option. 

    Consider the following information about each mode of transportation to protect yourself and others and then decide which mode of transportation is best for you during this unusual time.

    Mode of Travel  Pros  Cons  Tips
    Drive Alone
    • Able to maintain physical distancing
    • Reduces exposure to others, lowering the risk of transmitting disease
    • May not be available for all
    • Contributes to air pollution (which worsens COVID symptoms)
    • Increases traffic congestion
    • Added expense for fuel, vehicle maintenance, parking, vehicle depreciation
    • Enter vehicle with clean hands
    • If you have multiple vehicles, choose to drive the one with the highest mpg
    • Improve fuel efficiency by keeping tires properly inflated, keep tuned-up, accelerate smoothly
    • Refuel in the evening during summer months to reduce ozone pollution
    • Stop at the “click” when refueling to reduce fumes and avoid spills 
    Bike & Walk
    • Able to maintain physical distancing
    • Reduces exposure to others
    • Emission-free way of travel
    • Provides consistent exercise, Improving physical fitness and resilience
    • Reduces stress
    • Low cost/saves money
    • Distance between work and home might be too great to be feasible
    • It’s fairly cool in the morning, but really hot on the way home!!
    • Keep hydrated
    • Avoid high-traffic roads when possible
    • Avoid narrow roads, paths and trails

    • Can control with whom you ride, preferably someone you live with
    • Can limit number of passengers to keep physically distanced
    • Taking one vehicle instead of two reduces traffic congestion and air pollution
    • Share parking and fuel expenses
    • Can accommodate a variety of commute distances enroute 
    • Can be available to those without a personal vehicle
    • Contributes some to traffic congestion and air pollution (albeit less than multiple vehicles)
    • Open windows to improve airflow or set mode of air conditioning to non-recirculation
    • Wear a mask (covering nose and mouth)
    • Sit passenger in the back to maximize distance from driver
    • Clean and disinfect car seats, door handles, seatbelts
    • Avoid touching the car and items in it
    • Don’t share rides if feeling ill
     Bus & Streetcar
    • Can maintain physical distancing if low-density ridership
    • Inexpensive
    • Improved air quality
    • Added “me” time in the day to read, relax, etc.
    • Cannot control who else is riding in the vehicle
    • Can become higher density making it difficult to maintain 6’ distance between passengers
    • Limited transit service on some routes
    • Wear a mask (covering your nose and mouth)
    • Maintain 6’ distance from others
    • Travel during non-peak hours, if possible
    • Avoid touching things
    • Use hand sanitizer before and after using transit
    • Stay up-to-date on service changes
    • If too crowded, find another mode of transport

    The CDC provides the following general recommendations no matter how you get to work:
    • Wear a face covering (over your nose and mouth) when not able to maintain physical distance.
    • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol before and after your trip.Beth and April
    • Maintain at least six feet between you and others who do not live in your household.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes, toss used tissues in the trash, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer afterwards.
    • Stay home when you feel sick or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
    • Limit travel, especially if you are at a greater health risk.
     Health and safety is a top priority during this serious COVID-19 pandemic. Employing effective methods to reduce the spread of this disease will help ensure a healthy workforce and reduce health risks in our homes as well. Wishing us all safe and healthy travels!

    Photo: Driver Beth Gorman is joined by colleague April Mattox.

    For more information on Pima County employee commute benefits and resources, visit our Travel Reduction Program intranet site. You can also sign up to be on a transit, bike or carpool list serve by contacting Karen.Wilhelmsen@pima.gov, or join our employee Commute Trips & Tips Facebook group.
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