Amtrak email received this a.m.:
I want to start by saying that it is my honor to assume the role of President and CEO at Amtrak®. I can't imagine a more important time to be joining the Amtrak team. The coronavirus pandemic has touched every part of our nation and has rapidly changed how we go about our daily lives. And while it has been devastating, it has also put on full display the greatness of the human spirit.
I am writing you today to let you know how the team at Amtrak is responding and what we are doing to support our communities and protect our customers and employees.
Supporting Our Communities
Fewer trains in operation has resulted in a surplus of food supplies. In addition to serving essential workers on the front lines, we are donating excess food to help those in need during this unprecedented time. Amtrak has teamed up with food banks across the country, like St. Jude's Community Center in New Orleans and Northwest Harvest in Seattle, to reduce waste and provide essentials to those who need them.
We have also partnered with Delivering Good to donate blankets to patients impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. With over 35 years of crisis experience, Delivering Good works to help those most in need. Learn more at delivering-good.org.
Ready for You
We know that as you begin to travel again, your number-one concern will be your personal health and safety. You have our commitment that we are doing everything we possibly can to provide a clean and safe travel experience. You can be confident in knowing that when you're ready to travel again, we'll be ready for you.
We want to keep you informed about the measures we are taking to help protect our customers and employees, including:
• New Facial Covering Policy. For your safety and the safety of our employees, Amtrak is now requiring all customers to wear a facial covering over their nose and mouth. Amtrak customer-facing employees are also required to wear facial coverings. The CDC recommends the use of facial coverings to slow the spread of the virus and prevent transmission.
• Physical Distancing. To maintain CDC recommendations for physical distancing on board our trains, we are limiting bookings to 50% capacity. In addition, signage has been added in our stations to help travelers maintain safe distances in highly trafficked areas. We have also installed transparent protective barriers at many station ticket counters across our network.
• Enhanced Cleaning Protocols. We have increased the frequency of cleaning services on board trains and at our stations. In addition to steam cleaning the carpets, the trains are sanitized with misting machines daily before entering service.
• Cashless Service. For the safety of our customers and employees, we are temporarily accepting cashless payments only, in stations and on trains.
• Travel Flexibility. We are waiving change fees on all existing or new reservations made through August 31, 2020, so you can go ahead and book a trip with confidence. This includes reservations booked with points.
Amtrak continues to evaluate current practices and launch new initiatives to support personal safety. The most up-to-date information on our response can be found on our website.
Thank you for your continued support. I'm confident that, together, we will get through this and come out stronger. Stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you on board when you're ready to travel again.
Chief Executive Officer
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner