Amtrak cleaning trains more frequently and waiving change fees due to coronavirus fears

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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Amtrak to require all passengers wear facemasks starting May 11, and limited restart of Acela service on June 1.
David C. Lester

Amtrak is cleaning its trains more frequently to help prevent or reduce the spread of coronavirus on its trains. In addition, it is waiving any fees usually incurred by changing an existing reservation, and this will be done through the end of April.

In a statement released yesterday, Amtrak detailed measures it is taking to improve the cleanliness of its trains. “To reduce risk, we’ve increased cleaning frequency on trains and at stations multiple times a day and in some cases, an hourly basis. Through expanded services provided by our custodial vendors, we’ve increased the use of disinfectants to wipe down handrails, doorknobs, handles, and restrooms. We have also begun to place additional antibacterial products to include sanitizers and wipes throughout our stations and trains. While taking active measures to maintain a safe work environment, new protocol includes:

  • Providing more anti-bacterial wipes and gels in common work areas – including onboard trains, in stations, crew bases and offices.
  • Increasing inventory across the network – including increasing stocks of gloves, antibacterial products, bathroom soap, and more.
  • Disseminating accurate information to reduce risk – through reference posters and instructional videos that will be displayed in stations.
  • Taking targeted action based on guidance from public health experts – collaborating with stakeholders and transit partners.

The Amtrak statement went on to say “While there are no current travel restrictions on Amtrak, we understand customers may have concerns. [For our] valued customer[s] we will waive change fees on all existing or new reservations made before April 30, 2020. We are continuing to monitor the coronavirus situation closely and will adjust this policy as necessary. The waiver applies for tickets purchased by April 30, 2020.”

From an Amtrak news release.

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