Keeping Us Moving: Public Transportation in a Pandemic


While ridership plummeted in March as residents stayed home to stop the spread of COVID-19, many have now returned to their routines. Public transportation has been critical, riders say, for accessing essential services, getting to work, and checking in on family.

“I depend on the bus,” says Robert McKinney of Beaver Falls as he waits for a ride to Aliquippa. He’s reassured by the extra effort to keep the buses clean and feels safe on board, where passengers and drivers wear mask and socially distance.

Mark Magliocchi of Rochester takes the bus to and from work several times a week, and said he doesn’t mind the requirement to wear a mask because “with the virus going around, we all have to do our part.”

The agency has done their part too, suspending fares in March so riders could travel free of charge through the end of July – a big help to all those hurt by the economic impact of the pandemic.

Listen as public transportation workers and riders from across the country and here in Beaver County talk about their experiences during the pandemic in this creative audio montage that features sound clips of television, internet, and radio news reporting.

Mary Jo Morandini, General Manager of the Beaver County Transit Authority has directed the agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing measures keep both riders and drivers safe.

Now, she explains, the goal is to educate the wider community about those steps so they know it’s once again safe to ride. The agency launched a media campaign earlier this summer to get the word out: