Bus drivers fearful of coronavirus amid shortage of medical and cleaning supplies

HAVERHILL — Some bus drivers in the Merrimack Valley told Boston 25 News that they’re working in fear amid the coronavirus crisis as there is a shortage of medical and cleaning supplies.

Drivers said they’re putting their lives on the line, and enough isn’t being done for them.

"I’m living in fear. We are all living in fear, said one Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority bus driver who asked not to be identified, fearing retaliation on the job.

“All of the drivers, especially the drivers that have younger children, you know they’re a mess right now,” the driver said. “They don’t want to go home and spread this around to kids.”

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The veteran bus driver said he feels as if the management team isn’t doing enough for their safety during the coronavirus epidemic.

“They said that they trained drivers, they have not trained drivers. When drivers asked about that, they were suspended, they were punished,” the driver said.

We reached out to Joe Costanzo with the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority, who said drivers received training twice so far.

He said since March 16, they’ve "implemented rear door boarding and all bus and van operators have been provided with hand sanitizer and Lysol spray."

“We’ve been given Lysol or wipes to wipe down that area,” the driver told Boston 25. “I don’t have any, none of the drivers I know don’t have any.”

The driver said the moment he gets home, “I feel like I want to tear my clothes off in the garage and take a shower with a wired brush, before I get anywhere near the house.”

The driver is begging the public to please stay home.

“It’s a free ride right now. That’s made it worse. People think they’re at Disney, they just get on and ride around because they’re bored,” the driver said.

The driver said they don’t even have any masks protecting them.

Costanzo said that they’re hoping to get more hand sanitizers next week. They just can’t get their hands on any masks, and they’re trying to get wipes.

They’re also asking their drivers to practice social distancing.

In the meantime, drivers tell us, they don’t have a choice. They have to continue to work so they can feed their families.

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