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Cleaning ramps up on buses in response to coronavirus outbreak

King County Metro and Sound Transit both said this week that crews will increase frequency of cleaning.

Seattle-area buses and other public transportation are being cleaned more deeply and frequently as a response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, King County Metro and Sound Transit have said this week.

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King Country Metro Transit announced Thursday morning that crews are now cleaning every bus each night using “21 newly acquired backpack sprayers distributed evenly across its seven bases.”

Metro crews started cleaning buses with the sprayers Wednesday night, so all passengers and operators will board “fully disinfected” buses starting Thursday morning.

“This practice will continue for the foreseeable future as part of Metro’s ongoing efforts to support the health and safety of passengers, employees, and community members,” King County Metro said.

King County Metro said that the agency normally cleans and vacuums each bus daily, and conducts four-hour deep cleans every 30 days.

Sound Transit, which runs buses and Link light rail, announced earlier this week that it plans to clean "more deeply and frequently," with a focus on "high touch" areas, such as handrails, escalators and elevator buttons.

Sound Transit officials also said that passengers can take their own precautions on transportation.

"We all know that can be difficult on transit, but remember it’s not rude to get up and move if you need to," the agency reminded riders on its blog.

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