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Our ‘Guardians of Mobility’, are an integral part of the front liners keeping essential services available throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the course of these next few weeks, we will be sharing stories from our own community on what’s being done to keep public transport operations running around the world, and to shed a little light on our sector’s contribution to fighting this pandemic.
Today,we hear from Baku Transport Agency sharing experiences from Baku, Azerbaijan.
With the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Azerbaijan registered in February,the Cabinet of Ministers formed an operational headquarters with all the related state officials,including Baku Transport Agency (BTA),in order to develop a response plan for thepandemic outbreak.
In March,precautionary measures became more critical and strict,and the headquarters made the decision to suspend all in-person educational activities,close shopping centres and parks,as well as to have all restaurants offer food delivery services only.
“We are doing our best to be flexible and meet the mobility needs of the community, whle maintaining social distance.”
There aremore than 2,000 buses operating on 150 routes withmore than 2 million passengers transported daily in the Baku metropolitan area.As the public transport authority,BTA has ensured that the necessary public transport services are maintained to provide mobility services to the community and especially for those working in vital sectors.
“Public transport professionals are part of the front liners in these critical times and our first priority is to keep the citizens safe and healthy”,said Vusal Karimli,Chairman of BTA.“We are proud to be serving our people by providing continuous mobility services for essential travellers.”
The authority reacted quickly by organising an operational team to formulate a contingency plan to keep staff and passengers protected.BTA began by implementing theongoing extraordinary disinfection of all buses,taxis and parking areas in use,as well as transport hubs and stations.All drivers are also requested towear protective gearsuch as face masks and gloves while operating on the front lines,andhand sanitiser dispensers were installed in all buses.