• What are local school bus companies doing to stop children from getting the flu?

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    With flu season starting and school in session, those germs can last up to a week on surfaces.

    While most classrooms get cleaned daily, it led to the question of how often are buses cleaned? 

    "I like kids, and I definitely like driving," said A1 Transit school bus driver Joyce Boyd. 

    Boyd is armed with her tools to keep her school buses as clean as possible.

    If she's driving one of the big yellow A1 Transit buses, she's responsible for getting up to 70 students to school in the Pittsburgh Public Schools District. Something else she's passionate about is keeping the buses tidy.

    Each day, Boyd picks out a few of the buses in the lot in Lawrenceville and scrubs them down, so they all eventually get cleaned each week.

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    "When they're coming up on the bus, they're getting germs on all that, so when I'm wiping it down, you gotta wipe everything down," said Boyd. "Seats and all that." 

    With flu season in full swing, Boyd showed us what A1 Transit does to try to prevent the spread of it.

    "If we get a call that someone has a cold, then the people in the office will let me know, and I'll come out and clean the buses and spray it down," said Boyd. 

    Channel 11 News also spoke with First Student Bus Company.

    First Student spokesperson Chris Kemper said if they transport a student with an illness, the bus is removed from service and isolated as they clean the inside.


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    Channel 11 News asked the Allegheny County Health Department for its recommendation to fight the spread of the flu. Officials said bus drivers should clean and disinfect daily -- especially tops of seats and handrails -- and offer hand sanitizer. 

    Boyd said while she can keep the buses clean, she offers this suggestion to parents: "If their kid is sick and they have any signs of a cold, I would keep them home for a day or two."

    As for other public transportation, such as Port Authority buses and trolleys, they are also cleaned. 

    "Buses and light rail cars are cleaned on a regular basis," said Port Authority of Allegheny County spokesperson Adam Brandolph.

    Brandolph did explain how often that was, but he did add: "Preventing spreading the flu is less about what we can do and more about what our customers can do to prevent the spread of germs. We recommend customers cover their nose and mouth when they sneeze or cough, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after using public transportation."


     

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