Keeping STA Buses Clean & Safe

Night-shift Vehicle Maintenance Cleaner Richard Martin served in the United States Navy for 20 years and achieved degrees in sociology and criminal law before finding his place at Spokane Transit.

“I am happy as a clam where I am right now – I get to work nights,” said Martin. “I’m a night owl, so this job has been perfect for me. Trust me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Martin clocks in at 9 pm with his team to inspect, clean and sanitize STA bus interiors to make sure they are clean and safe for riders each morning.

“There is always something a little different,” said Martin. “Sometimes all the buses in my section are easy to clean and I can help other cleaners on their buses. Other times I could have several buses that require a deep clean – like on a rainy day when a lot of mud can be tracked in.”

The night-shift crew thoroughly cleans as many as 30 buses before their shift ends in the morning at 5:30 am.

Since the pandemic, Martin’s team has been the first line of defense against COVID-19 on the buses.

“When COVID-19 came, we started performing extra sanitization practices on the buses,” said Martin. “Every day. Even in Phase 2 of the pandemic response, we did not stop. We kept on doing the extra work.”

All buses are cleaned first and then sanitized with Re-Juv-Nal, a solution that is effective in stopping viruses like the 2019 novel coronavirus on hard surfaces and is certified by the EPA.

“We also re-stock the buses with face masks for riders,” said Martin. “Wearing a mask is for everybody’s benefit. For the driver and for everyone who is riding.”

Even after months of living through the pandemic, Martin encourages everyone to stay vigilant in the fight against the virus.

“Keep wearing your masks, keep applying social distancing, sanitize, wash your hands,” Martin said. “It really is common sense stuff. Stay safe, protect yourself and your family.”

At the end of the day, Martin is proud to help provide clean, safe and reliable public transportation to the region.

“I’m proud of being part of something bigger than myself,” said Martin. “A vital part of public transportation is keeping the buses clean and safe. Riders can get where they need to go and not have to worry about if the bus is clean and sanitary.”

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