TTD rolls out fare-free service to minimize health risks to passengers and operators.
On 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 safety 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.