Transit District Statement: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Transit District Statement: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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UPDATE, 3/24/2020 - SamTrans to Begin Rear-Boarding Practice Wednesday

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.



UPDATE, 3/16/2020
- SamTrans to Maintain Service During Shelter In Place Public Health Order.

A Public Health Order has been issued that requires Bay Area residents in six counties, including San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, to shelter in place as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Public transit services, such as SamTrans, are identified as "essential" under the order and will continue to operate, however, use of public transportation is limited to essential required travel only.

SamTrans will continue to operate a non-school day schedule on weekdays. During the week, routes will not serve stops that are labeled as ‘School Days Only.’ Weekend service and paratransit service will operate unchanged. Ridership will be monitored closely to ensure that riders are able to practice social distancing in accordance with Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

Average weekday ridership has decreased by approximately 19% since COVID-19 containment efforts began.

SamTrans is maintaining daily onboard cleaning and sanitation protocols in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines. In order to ensure the health of our staff, SamTrans is supplying hand sanitizer to bus operators as they do not have access to soap and water onboard.

SamTrans is also supporting critical health messaging by distributing brochures onboard all buses over the coming weeks with information from the CDC about how to minimize risk of exposure.

The public health order is intended to be in place until April 7, 2020, but may be extended or reduced.



UPDATE, 3/13/2020 - 
In response to school closures in San Mateo County, as part of the effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), SamTrans will begin operating a regular, non-school day schedule on weekdays. Weekend service will remain unchanged. During the week, routes will not serve stops that are labeled as ‘School Days Only’.

Average weekday ridership has decreased by approximately 19% since COVID-19 containment efforts began.



UPDATE, 3/4/2020 - 
In light of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the Bay Area, the San Mateo County Transit District is monitoring the situation and maintaining regular contact with local public health agencies, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Transit District is the administrative body for the principal public transit and transportation programs in San Mateo County, including SamTrans bus service and Caltrain commuter rail service.

As reported by the CDC, the immediate risk posed by COVID-19 to the public remains relatively low. However, we understand this can raise concerns about safety in public spaces, including public transit. Therefore, we want to remind passengers about CDC-recommended precautions everyone should take onboard public transit to prevent the spread of illnesses:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after riding public transit. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid eating while onboard.
  • Do not cough into your hands. Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

While SamTrans buses and Caltrain trains are regularly cleaned and sanitized, following these recommendations is the best way to prevent the spread of illnesses onboard. Caltrain and SamTrans have also shared preventative information with agency staff to ensure they can remain safe and healthy when serving the public.

For the latest information about COVID-19 in communities served by SamTrans and Caltrain, please refer to information and guidance provided by the following public health agencies:

We will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds and respond as necessary in partnership with our public health and transportation partners.

Be safe, wash your hands and refer to public health agencies to minimize risk of exposure.

Jim Hartnett
General Manager/CEO, San Mateo County Transit District

 

SamTrans News 

 

March 13, 2020

Media Contact: Tasha Bartholomew, 650-508-7927