Customers on platform with Pink Line train

Coronavirus: Operations

To help promote social distancing and avoid potential crowding, over the last several months we've implemented new measures to our daily operations to help ensure we can continue to provide safe and reliable service throughout the pandemic. 

NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, the following measures are currently in effect until further notice.

Bus crowding management

Our bus operators now have the authority to temporarily run as “drop-off only” and bypass certain bus stops if their bus is becoming crowded. Operators will use the guideline of 15 or more passengers on a standard 40-foot bus, 22 or more passengers on a 60-foot articulated bus.

You may not realize, as this is not something you may notice when it happens, but we often use this as a service restoration technique as part of our day-to-day operations to help maintain optimal intervals to meet ridership demand and avoid bus bunching. This practice is also similar in concept to what grocery stores are currently doing: regulating the number of customers inside the building at one time. 

See press release for more information.

Service monitoring

In addition to the measures outlined above, we continue to closely monitor ridership levels to identify areas where additional resources can be deployed to avoid potential crowding. Management has been deployed to keep an eye on key locations with higher bus boardings and make adjustments as necessary. For routes where we’re made aware of or seeing higher ridership levels we are either deploying our longer, 60-foot buses or staging extra buses along the route so they can be quickly added into service.

Rear-door boarding

*Rear-door boarding ended June 21, at which time customers resumed front-door boarding.*

The following was in effect from April 8 through June 21, 2020: Bus riders are to board and exit vehicles from the rear doors. Individuals using a mobility device or those who require use of the ramp can signal to the driver for assistance at the front door. This latest effort aligns with guidance by provided by CDC that encourages passengers in major cities to enter and exit using the rear doors of a bus.

To board via rear doors, in most cases you will be required to manually open the doors from outside the bus since many  buses in our fleet do not have the ability to open the doors automatically. Our crews clean and disinfect the door edges throughout the day as part of our rigorous cleaning program.

To allow for fare payment, we are in the process of moving farecard readers (tap devices) to the rear doors of buses. While a number of buses already have the readers at their rear doors, more buses will soon be receiving them. During this transition period, we will not enforce fare payment on buses that do not yet have rear-door farecard readers.

See press release for more information.