Phoenix Limits Bus Passengers To Promote Social Distancing
New social distancing measures could impact people who rely on buses to get to work. Starting Monday, Phoenix is limiting passengers on buses.
For a typical 40-foot bus, the maximum is 10 passengers. For the longer, bendy type bus, the limit is 15. The smaller neighborhood circulator vehicles (ALEX, MARY, SMART routes) will be limited to five passengers. Exceptions will be made for wheelchair and mobility aid users.
Phoenix is encouraging passengers to plan additional travel time because if a bus reaches capacity the driver may not allow more people on. Passengers are encouraged to plan additional travel time, as these measures may impact their trip.
Preliminary data show bus ridership in March dropped 45% to 65%.
In a press release, Phoenix said it’s working with Valley Metro, which operates bus services, to coordinate a regional effort to educate riders about social distancing while using public transportation. Signs with consistent messaging will be added to buses across the region.
Passengers have already been using the rear doors to board to avoid close contact with drivers. Phoenix recommends passengers follow federal health guidelines and maintain at least six feet distance while waiting at bus stops and wear a cloth mask that covers the nose and mouth.