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Rider's Almanac Blog

COVID-19

Your COVID-19 questions, answered

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, June 4, 2020 2:22:00 PM

Several adjustments have been made to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and changes are likely to continue as our understanding of the pandemic evolves. Below are responses to some frequently asked questions. Additional questions can be directed to Customer Relations

For the latest updates, please visit metrotransit.org/health.

Who can take transit under the Stay Safe MN order?

Metro Transit continues to urge customers not to ride transit unless their travel is for essential purposes and they have no other option. Reducing ridership lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19 by giving customers and operators more space while on board vehicles.

How are vehicles, stations and platforms being cleaned?

Buses, trains, stations and other shared spaces are being cleaned and disinfected as frequently as possible. Currently, all buses and light rail vehicles are being cleaned daily. Operators have supplies to sanitize their work areas at the beginning of each shift and refillable bottles of sanitizer are available to staff. 

Why has service been reduced?

In March, service was reduced by about 40%. Overnight transit service has also been suspended. The service reduction gives us flexibility to bring more buses to routes that are experiencing relatively high ridership and reflects lower overall demand. Reduced service levels will remain in place when scheduled service changes take effect in June. Service levels will be evaluated as businesses, schools and other services adapt to updated public health guidance. 

Why is there a limit on the number of people allowed on board?

Beginning April 16, Metro Transit established limits on the number of people who can ride a bus at any given time. The limits are 10 riders for a 40-foot bus and 15 riders for a 60-foot, articulated bus. These limits help riders leave space between themselves and others while riding.

What happens when a bus is too full to pick up additional customers?

Unfortunately, limiting the number of people that can ride a bus at a time means some people may have to wait for the next trip. Operators will contact Metro Transit supervisors when they can no longer pick up customers. While service may not be immediately available, this information will help inform future service planning.

Is NexTrip accurate?

Yes, NexTrip is providing accurate real-time predicted departure information. Real-time information provided through third-party apps should also be accurate. Remember, alerts about scheduled service changes and trips that are unexpectedly canceled are provided by text and e-mail. Sign up to receive alerts for the routes you use at metrotransit.org/rider-alerts.

Why are people being asked to board through the rear doors?

To reduce operator-customer interactions, Metro Transit implemented rear-door boarding in March. More than 80% of bus boardings are now happening through the rear door. Front-door boarding continues to be an option for anyone who needs it, for any reason. Movable barriers have been installed behind the operator area to remind customers to exit through the rear door if they are able to do so.

How am I supposed to pay a fare if I'm boarding through the rear door?

Fares can be purchased in advance through ticket vending machines, located at al light rail and Bus Rapid Transit stations, and through Metro Transit's free ticketing app.

Do I need to wear a face covering when riding?

Customers are required to wear face coverings when riding buses and trains. Metro Transit will not deny service to customers without face coverings, however, and the requirement exempts children under two and other customers for whom wearing a face covering could be unsafe.

Are operators required to wear face coverings?

Metro Transit has allowed all staff to wear facial coverings since March 13. Subsequently, cloth masks were distribute to all frontline staff. Face shields have also been provided and are used by operators when securing mobility devices. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be provided based on need and the availability of supplies.  

How is the air on buses and trains being ventilated or filtered?

Bus operators may open roof hatches to improve air circulation within buses. Customers may also open side windows in buses where those windows can be opened. Metro Transit is researching enhanced air filtration options for both buses and trains.

What can customers do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

In addition to requiring customers to wear face coverings, riders are encouraged to use transit only for essential trips, to wash their hands, to avoid transit if they are feeling ill and to keep distance between themselves and other riders, including waiting for the next bus or train when necessary and possible.

How can healthcare workers travel safely to their jobs?

Essential healthcare workers can schedule free rides to and from work through the Metropolitan Council's Metro Mobility service. Find more information at metrocouncil.org.

What do I do if I have concerns while riding?

As always, call 911 in the event of an emergency. To report suspicious or unwanted behaviors, please text Text for Safety at 612-900-0411 and you will be put in touch with a trained representative who can provide assistance. All other questions, comments and concerns can be directed to Customer Relations. Customer Relations staff is available by phone during normal business hours. Metro Transit's Service Centers are closed, but staff continue to support customers who need to purchase or replace Go-To Cards online or through other retail locations that are open.

What if I lose something?

While the Lost & Found window is closed, Customer Relations continues to collect and return lost items. For more information, contact Customer Relations at 612-373-3333 or via e-mail at comments@metrotransit.org. Representative will follow-up on Wednesday afternoons if your item was recovered and make arrangements for pick up or delivery.