In an effort to comply with social distancing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, on Wednesday SamTrans will begin implementing rear-door boarding on buses with multiple doors in its fixed route service. ADA passengers and riders needing assistance will still be able to board through the front doors. Fare payment on these routes will not be required until further notice.
SamTrans continues to serve riders who rely on public transit for vital access to resources, and is committed to the well-being and health of our bus operators and riders. While onboard the bus, riders should try and stay six feet apart from fellow passengers. SamTrans is maintaining daily onboard cleaning and sanitation protocols in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.
Bay Area transit agencies are making a coordinated effort to keep essential transportation services available to the communities we serve. Due to severe ridership declines as a result of the public health order, transit agencies, like SamTrans, are now experiencing serious financial hardships that will require significant support from our local legislators. It is critical that State and Federal COVID-19 relief packages include funding for public transportation.
Since the COVID-19 containment efforts began, SamTrans has experienced a 65-70% average weekday ridership loss. The bulk of subsidy for operating SamTrans comes from local sales tax, and the agency is anticipating significant declines in local sales tax revenue in the coming months. With zero fare collection in place, SamTrans anticipates monthly revenue fare loss of $1.3 million.
If passengers have questions regarding fares, they should call the SamTrans Customer Service Center at (800) 660-4287 or (TTY) 650-508-6448 for those who are hearing impaired.
About SamTrans: SamTrans operates 70 routes throughout San Mateo County. Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the San Mateo County Transit District also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. SamTrans has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976.
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