Beginning Monday, May 18, 2020, Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) will require all passengers to wear a face covering on transit buses and in transit facilities to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This requirement is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations to wear face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
The required face coverings must cover the passenger’s nose and mouth, as recommended by current CDC guidance to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in areas of significant community-based transmission. Face coverings are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which are critical supplies for
healthcare workers and first responders during this pandemic. Please note that transit operators will make periodic announcements to remind passengers about this policy, and Required Face Covering notices will
be posted at TTD transit facilities. “TTD is continuing to monitor Nevada and California state guidance to implement the most rigorous standards to ensure the safety of transit operators and the community,” said Carl Hasty, district manager of the Tahoe Transportation District. “Face coverings, fare-free service, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices are among a number of heightened safety measures TTD has implemented to make
our transit system as safe as possible while ensuring mobility and access for essential workers and services during this public health crisis.”
Face coverings are an additional safety precaution and not a replacement for the CDC’s social distancing guidelines. TTD asks the community to continue maintaining 6-feet social distancing between transit operators and passengers, and please observe the buffer zone of empty seats around transit operators. Transit operators and TTD staff assigned to serve the public will continue to wear face coverings, as is required by the Nevada State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NV OSHA).
TTD continues to monitor and implement the latest recommendations from local, state, and federal health officials, including CDC guidelines for transit operators. These include: social distancing, back door entry/exiting, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which is available on all buses and in transit centers. TTD also introduced a fare-free program to eliminate fare exchanges, which helps minimize risks by enabling passengers and operators to follow social distancing guidelines. Other policies TTD has implemented to combat COVID-19 include: daily and nightly sanitizing of bus contact surfaces; use of gloves and face coverings; contingency planning for transit services and operations; daily communications with local health and emergency services officials; virtual meetings; and remote work, for employees who can do so.
The CDC offers the following guidance on how to wear a face covering.
Face coverings should:
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Include multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to the shape
The CDC further advises that face coverings should not be placed on young children under the age of two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance. For more information on these guidelines, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
For information on CDC COVID-19 recommendations to protect yourself and others, see: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html.
Beginning Sunday, April 12, 2020, Tahoe Transportation District
(TTD) will offer zero-fare service on all transit routes to make travel safer in response to COVID-19 by eliminating fare exchanges between transit operators and riders. This accelerated roll-out of TTD’s planned transition to a zero-fare program is intended to assist the community during this difficult time and enable passengers and operators to minimize risks by following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) social distancing guidelines.
Zero-fare transit systems are shown to enhance efficiency, boost on-time performance, and increase afety for passengers and operators, in addition to ensuring the regular operation of critical transit services for essential workers and services. TTD has secured sufficient grant funding to operate a zero fare transit program through May 31, 2022. After that time, continuation of fare-free services will be contingent on the availability of additional funding sources.
“TTD has implemented a number of policies to combat COVID-19, and a fare-free transit system is a logical next step to continue that effort and help ease the burden of what has suddenly become a tough economic climate for many in the community,” said Carl Hasty, district manager of the Tahoe
Transportation District. “In addition to the advantage of eliminating fare exchanges amid the coronavirus pandemic, a zero-fare transit program may help lessen traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and particulates that impact the lake.” TTD asks the community to observe the following guidelines to minimize COVID-19 risks while using transit:
- Practice social distancing and ride transit only for essential travel during shelter-in-place orders.
- Observe the buffer zone of empty seats around transit operators.
- Enter and exit using the back door if the bus is equipped with one.
- Use the hand sanitizer available on all buses when boarding and exiting the bus.
- If you are sick or not feeling well, please don’t ride transit.
- Be kind and courteous to transit operators.
In response to COVID-19, TTD has implemented a number of enhanced safety protocols that include: daily and nightly sanitizing of bus contact surfaces; use of gloves and cloth face masks; contingency planning for transit services and operations; daily communications with local health and emergency services officials; virtual meetings; and the availability of remote work, for employees who can do so. TTD continues to monitor and implement the latest preventative measures and recommendations from
the CDC and local, state, and federal health officials. TTD urges everyone to follow the CDC’s COVID-19 guidance, which includes social distancing of at
least six feet and frequent hand-washing. For more information on the CDC’s recommendations, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html.
TTD understands that public transportation is a critical part of the community’s infrastructure and will continue to monitor and review transit services to provide as much advance notice as possible regarding potential changes. Public transit is classified as an essential service in both California and Nevada and may be used during shelter-in-place orders for essential travel. If your travel isn’t essential, TTD asks that you follow shelter-in-place orders and not ride transit.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves, Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) continues to operate regular transit services for essential workers and services during the shelter-in-place order. TTD understands that public transportation is part of the community’s critical infrastructure and is committed to ensuring that transit services remain safe and reliable.
TTD is not cancelling routes or reducing any services at this time. However, riders should be aware that service frequency reductions may be necessary in the future. TTD continues to monitor and review transit services to minimize impacts and provide as much advance notice as possible regarding any changes.
“Public transit is essential to the community,” said Carl Hasty, district manager of the Tahoe Transportation District. “Our priority right now is to ensure that TTD’s transit services remain reliable, while safeguarding the health and welfare of our employees and the community.”
Any potential transit service adjustments in response to COVID-19 will be informed by the community’s feedback, so TTD is asking riders to provide input on which routes and runs are most critical to their needs. If you haven’t provided input, please email TTD at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 775.589.5500 and press option 2 to participate in a brief transit questionnaire. Be sure to include contact information so that TTD may reach you in the event of any service changes impacting your routes.
COVID-19 recommendations and orders are changing rapidly. TTD is continuing to monitor and implement the latest preventative information and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local, state and federal health officials. While TTD regularly cleans and sanitizes its buses, TTD has increased cleaning cycles and enhanced its safety protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. TTD urges everyone to practice social distancing, follow proper hand-washing guidelines,
and respect the buffer zone of empty seats around transit operators.
The CDC offers the following guidance to help protect yourself and others:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Properly dispose of tissue.
- Put distance between yourself and other people (about six feet) and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
For more information on the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines, please visit
“Transit must continue to operate to support workers who are keeping Lake Tahoe running,” added Hasty. “The remaining riders on the system are workers performing essential functions or people who need access to necessary health and safety-related services, so transit is providing a critical lifeline for the region.”
Public transit is classified as an essential service in the states of California and Nevada and may be used during a shelter-in-place order for essential travel. Under federal regulations, public transit is part of the emergency response system. If your travel isn’t essential or you are not feeling well, TTD asks that you follow shelter-in-place orders and not ride transit.
Stantec Consulting Services Inc. and the Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) have been recognized with a Gold National Planning Achievement
Award for Transportation Planning by the American Planning Association (APA). The award recognizes Mobility Planning on the Cellular Level, an initiative that used cellular data to understand visitor trips and develop recommendations to reduce congestion and increase transit mode share during Lake Tahoe’s busiest tourism seasons.