DOT and the Postal Service - Work Together to Ramp Up Distribution of Face Masks
May 28, 2020
DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) has a plan to distribute at least 15.6 million masks through the passenger and freight sector. They are intending to ramp up the Trump administration efforts to help with flattening the curve of the coronavirus pandemic - especially with the freight and shipping transportation workers.
Elaine Chao, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, stated that keeping the transportation systems intact, even during the pandemic, is important. The transportation workers deserve to stay safe and efforts must be taken to help them out.
DOT stated that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) first secured masks and have started sending them out via the U.S. Postal Service.
FEMA has also partnered with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Together, they were able to send out 1 million masks to highway patrol field offices, inspection stations, and motor carriers that provided truck drivers the relief they needed. Some of the drivers had concerns that they wouldn’t get the protective gear they needed as they continued to transport essential items throughout the country during the coronavirus pandemic. However, with DOT, FEMA, and the postal service stepping up, things are being taken care of.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and DOT have worked together, alongside the states, stakeholders, and industries to make sure the freight shipper service workers had the support they needed. In the last delivery rounds, motor carriers and highway agencies received more than 2 million more face masks. There are more plans to distribute more masks to the essential transportation workers including:
Freight Rail: 2.2 million masks
Maritime: 2.4 million masks
Aviation: 3.8 million masks
Mass transit/Passenger Rail: 4.8 million masks
Pipeline: 258,000 masks
Recently, the OOIDA (Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association) told President Trump that additional protective measures needed to be taken to keep freight drivers safe. They need better testing facilities access and programs that gave drivers the ability to quarantine in motels nearby.