Metro de Madrid to place plastic strips on platforms to mark safety distance between users

Moving walkway
The easily identifiable red plastic strips are being placed at a distance of two metres apart. Accordingly, the public enterprise takes a further step in health and safety measures within its installations to address the coronavirus. The plastic strips will be placed as a priority in stations close to hospitals and health centres. The Vice-President of the Regional Government of Madrid has described this initiative as “necessary”, which seeks to “guarantee the safety of users and workers on the underground”.

Metro de Madrid has started to place plastic strips on the floors of platforms at stations in the underground system, with the aim of marking out the safety distance that users should stand from one another while waiting for the train to arrive.

The Vice-President, Councillor for Sport and Transparency and Spokesperson for the Regional Government of Madrid, Ignacio Aguado, and the Councillor for Transport, Mobility and Infrastructure and Chairman of Metro de Madrid, Ángel Garrido, have presented this initiative today at Feria de Madrid station, which is the closest station to the provisional hospital set up at the IFEMA trade fair site.

Ignacio Aguado described this initiative as “necessary”, as it seeks to “guarantee the safety of users and workers on the underground”. “The main aim is for people that use public transport to be protected”, he added, stressing the importance of adapting regional public transport to the reality marked by the coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis.

This is yet another measure being introduced by Metro to strengthen health and safety inside its facilities during this health crisis, taking into account that the measures on personal distancing will have to be maintained over the coming months, stated Ángel Garrido.

The easily identifiable red plastic strips are being placed at a distance of two metres apart, coinciding with the safety distance recommended by the health authorities.

These plastic strips will be placed as a priority in stations close to hospitals and health centres. The initiative will be completed in a few days.

Metro de Madrid has been taking different protective measures since the start of the health crisis, both for its workers and for users of the underground. Since 8 March, the public enterprise has been applying extraordinary cleaning and disinfecting measures, as on the rest of the public transport services in the Region of Madrid.

Specifically, trains and stations will be disinfected on a daily basis, paying close attention to both those elements that passengers may come into contact with in their daily journeys (handrails, seats, armrests and door handles, among other surfaces) and in the cabins for train drivers and other work areas in the underground.

PROTECT WORKERS AND USERS

Metro has also introduced a system whereby doors automatically open on all train models on which this is possible (64% of the total) so that passengers do not have to touch the door opening device. Furthermore, one door is always left wide open at each Metro station for passengers to come in and another one to go out.

Metro has also closed 42 entrance halls and 177 accessways to the underground to minimise the risks of its employees catching the coronavirus, since they will no longer have to work in these areas. This measure will also allow resources to be optimised and adapted to the new situation regarding cleaning, security and maintenance tasks, among others.

Along the same line of thinking, the underground will now close earlier, with the last train leaving at midnight instead of at 01:30 as before.

Metro is also encouraging staff to work from home to minimise the risk of the spread of the coronavirus. It is also promoting more flexible timetables to foster the work/life balance for those employees responsible for caring for children under the age of 12, persons with disability and family members up to the second degree of blood or family ties on grounds of age or sickness that are unable to look after themselves.

As part of the measures to protect workers, the public enterprise has started to perform tests to detect the coronavirus on its employees, on a voluntary basis. Some 20 workers who have displayed symptoms or been in quarantine after being in touch with others who have tested positive have taken the test.

Since the start of the health crisis, the Department of Transport, Mobility and Infrastructure of the Regional Government of Madrid has been adapting its public transport offer in the region to the fall in the number of passengers stemming from the measures approved by the regional government and other public authorities.

The offer agreed guarantees the necessary mobility for workers as well as the provision of an essential public service for the public. At any event, the service provided guarantees the maximum separation possible between passengers and maintains the priority of providing a service on lines with stations close to hospitals.