In this emerging situation of Coronavirus pandemic travel around the world is changing. Be it air travel, cruise ship, train, bus, or any mode of public transportation.
As the coronavirus lockdown restrictions are easing and the world starting to open up, people are opting for traveling within the cities and intercity.
The riders are introducing some new protocols and requirements to make it safer for the people to travel during the pandemic. However, people are going to experience a lot of changes while traveling by train.
These are some of the changes that the people will have to face while traveling on a train.
Some rail service providers have temporarily suspended their operations whereas some have suspended some of their routes. However, some have been operating with reduced capacity.
Therefore, it is important for travelers to be informed of their rail service provider’s updated schedule before booking. However, to save time the traveler must confirm their booking and the route they will be going through before coming to the station.
New Mode of Payment
To minimize contact with customers the travel suppliers are opting for cashless payments. People can now scan their electronic tickets from their mobile phone apps and get access to the train.
To contain the spread of the virus the rail service companies are looking for ways to avoid making people touching surfaces. And minimizing the contact of travelers with other people.
No Cancellation Fee
Rail service providers are giving flexibility to the customer by not charging any cancellation fee. Amtrak is waiving all change and cancelation fees for reservations made by August 31.
To attract customers back and convincing them to travel again other companies are also giving promotional and other beneficial deals.
However, in Belgium to enhance travel and domestic tourism the Belgium government is giving free ten-journey rail pass to all residents.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
There will be an enhanced cleaning measure taken by rail service providers. The trains will be timely cleaned and disinfected. The areas and surfaces most touch by the passengers will be frequently disinfected to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Moreover, trains and stations are also taking precautionary measures to protect customers and staff.
Masks and face coverings are mandatory in trains. However, wearing a facemask is essential in indoor public spaces these days. Wearing a mask is a new norm while traveling, certainly if you are en route to the station to catch your train.
Social distancing is the new normal in this time of the pandemic. No matter wherever you go you have to maintain your distance with others. In trains too the passengers will have to keep at least six feet of space between themselves and others at all times.
It is difficult to follow social distancing on trains. So to follow social distancing trains cannot operate at full capacity. There will a limited number of passengers traveling on a train at a time.
However, airlines, cruise ships, and hotels are also operating on the limited capacity to practice social distancing.
Strict Arrival Times
To avoid crowding at the stations in order to keep the customers safe it is advisable that the travelers do not arrive too early.
For instance, Amtrak is asking its customers to arrive only 30 minutes prior to departure.