WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Martz Trailways will resume limited service to New York City and Philadelphia next week. They voluntarily ended that service on march 27th because of COVID-19 concerns.

Martz officials say for now, they are gearing that service to essential workers such as first responders and healthcare workers, as well as those who commute to work in those cities every day. But the question many people are asking: ‘How do you keep people safe from COVID-19 in such close quarters on a bus?’

Passengers who will be riding Martz buses to New York City and Philadelphia starting on May 11th will see a very different seating arrangement on those buses. The buses normally carry up to 58 passengers… that number will be reduced to 14.

We spoke with the president of Martz Group, Scott Henry about the changes. “So we got seats marked off where we would like passengers not to sit. The seats without the signs are where passengers can sit. That marks off the full six feet of separation so that we can follow the recommended physical distance guidelines,” he said.

And Martz employees will be cleaning the buses throughout the day.

“We’ve been using electrostatic disinfectant sprays for over two years. So we are going to continue that plan but we are going to add midday cleanings before and after each run,” Henry said.

Passengers must wear face masks on the buses and clean their hands with hand sanitizer before and after they get off the bus. Martz will also be using ultraviolet light to kill germs in the air. The UV light is installed near the bus’ heating and cooling system.

Safety director of Martz Group John Henry explains, “It’s near the coil of our unit so any germs or bacteria coming in from the outside air will be killed. It has an effectiveness rate of up to 99.9%.”

For now, this limited service can only be accessed at Martz terminals in Mount Pocono and Delaware Water Gap. Martz officials say the majority of the essential workers who commute into New York City live in Monroe and Pike Counties. Martz buses will transport people to Philadelphia from the intermodal center here in Wilkes-Barre.

For more information on these limited services runs Click Here.