Coronavirus COVID-19Posted January 22nd, 2021
What do you need to know about Foothill Transit service and COVID-19?
The pandemic has changed everything, including how we run safe service. Right now that means a reduction in service. The big increase in LA County’s infection rate means there aren’t enough bus operators available right now to drive all our scheduled trips. We are running fewer buses on Commuter Express Lines 490, 493, 495, 498, 499, and 699 as of Monday, January 11, and continuing until further notice. We appreciate your support and patience as we do everything we can to operate safely and support our team members through these difficult times.
Have your fare ready! We’re collecting fares again. See below for more information.
Both the County of Los Angeles and the State of California have declared a health emergency and a Stay Home Order regarding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic. The LA County Safer at Work and in the Community Order is effective until further notice. We’re committed to safeguarding our community health. Evidence suggests there are a significant number of people infected with COVID-19 who are not showing symptoms but can still spread the virus to others. Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that we need to use precautions all the time — assuming that each of us can infect others even when we aren’t sick. There will be increased spread if we all aren’t physically separating ourselves from others at every opportunity. Wear a face covering when you need to be out of your home, but remember that staying home, frequent handwashing, and physical distancing remain our best protection against the spread of COVID-19. Everyone is asked to do their part.
We have all been asked to stay home as much as possible and only to travel for essential reasons or to visit certain lower-risk businesses, select recreational facilities, and beaches. Essential activities include working at an essential service, visiting a doctor or vet, obtaining medical supplies or medication, grocery shopping for yourself or others, providing care for minors, seniors, dependents and persons with disabilities or other vulnerabilities, legally mandated government purposes, and to comply with law enforcement or court orders. The public health recommendation is that when taking transit, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before boarding, and then wash your hands again after disembarking. Stagger seating to leave as much space as you can between you and others on board.
When will service return to normal?
Safety is our number one priority. And when it comes to COVID-19, we take the lead from our public health experts. Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives.
All lines except for Lines 490, 493, 495, 498, 499, 690, 699, 851, 853, and 854 are running regular service.
We are running fewer buses on Commuter Express Lines 490, 493, 495, 498, 499, and 699 as of Monday, January 11, and continuing until further notice.
Foothill Transit is working in partnership the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and our sister transit agencies in the region to respond quickly according to public health guidelines, which change daily. We will continually update this page and our social media channels where appropriate. Make sure you are signed up to get updates by email or text about any of our lines that you ride and any Park & Rides or transit centers you use. This service is free, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Sign up here. If you already have a Rider Alert account, make sure your settings are up-to-date, especially if you’re riding new lines. Manage your account here.
Cover your mouth and nose
Everybody in Los Angeles County must use a face covering when they are out in public around people from other households. You must wear a face covering over your nose and mouth while you’re waiting for the bus and the whole time you’re on board the bus. A face covering can be any cloth-type material (cottons, silk, linen, etc.) that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured with ties or straps, or simply wrapped around the lower face. You might use a bandana, neck gaiter, scarf, t-shirt worn around the nose and mouth, or a homemade face covering. Remember that it is important to wash your cloth face covering after each use. Face coverings are one small part of how we stay safe. We will not deny service to customers without a face covering, and there are valid medical reasons some people may not be able to wear a mask. We still need to stay home whenever possible, stay 6 feet apart from each other when we can, stagger seating on the bus, and wash our hands when we get to our destination, before touching our faces, and before eating.
Fares and questions
Foothill Transit is collecting fares again as of Sunday, October 18th. Visit taptogo.net to buy passes online.
Earlier this year, we stopped enforcing fare collection to help bus operators and customers maintain a safe physical distance on board. New bus operator barriers have been installed on most buses that allow customers to approach the fare box while maintaining safety.
If your bus has a barrier and is collecting fares, you will be directed to board through the front door. Pay attention to signage, and follow the bus operator’s directions. Face coverings are still required to ride.
Students at Mt. SAC, University of La Verne, Citrus College, The Claremont Colleges, Azusa Pacific University, Cal Poly Pomona, Pasadena City College, or Rio Hondo College can board local and Silver Streak buses by showing their valid school ID to the bus operator. No additional fare is necessary through the end of the school year (8/1/2021).
We realize that it’s been half a year since anyone had to pay their fare on board, so some quick reminders seemed appropriate:
All Foothill Transit fare information is available at foothilltransit.org/fares.
You can now use your iPhone or Apple Watch as a TAP card. Learn more at foothilltransit.org/tapapp for more information.
Passes and fares can also be purchased online at taptogo.net or at a Foothill Transit Store.
Foothill Transit Stores may close in response to COVID-19. Customers are encouraged to call 1-800-RIDE-INFO for all their transit-related needs. The El Monte and West Covina Transit Stores are open following their normal Store hours. The Puente Hills Mall Transit Store is open following these limited hours: Mon. through Sat., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sun., 12 to 6 p.m. The Pomona Transit Store opening date is being determined.
Please follow safety messages at the Transit Stores to keep our community safe. Capacity is limited to one customer in the store at a time. Please keep in mind our safety precautions if you visit: face coverings are required, maintain a six-foot distance between you and anyone around you, stay home if you have a fever or cough, make sure to wash or sanitize your hands after contact with frequently touched surfaces, and please be kind.
Need help buying your fare online? Visit foothilltransit.org/taponline for instructions.
Reduced fares are available for students, seniors, persons with disabilities, and Medicare cardholders. Eligibility requirements and applications are available at taptogo.net/reduced_fare.
What to expect on board
Please wear a face covering while you are on board the bus. We will not deny service to customers without a face covering, and there are valid medical reasons some people may not be able to wear a mask.
Once on board, customers are asked to maintain distance between themselves and the operator and stagger seating to maintain distance from other customers. The only exceptions to this are families traveling together and care attendants traveling with someone that they assist. The accessible seating at the front of the bus is only for customers with a wheelchair or mobility device and their Personal Care Assistants or immediate family members who are traveling with them. To help people keep a safe distance, our buses are targeting 15 customers plus the ADA accessible seats. The smaller buses that serve Line 291 and the duartEbus lines are targeting 10 customers plus the ADA accessible seats. The larger articulated (bendy) buses that serve the Silver Streak are targeting 20 customers plus the ADA accessible seats. If the bus you’re waiting for is already at its target, you’ll see “SORRY, BUS FULL” or “DISCHARGE ONLY” on the sign at the front of the bus, and the operator will make an announcement that the bus is full. Wait for the next bus. We’re running full service with less customers, and adding buses as needed, so your wait shouldn’t be long. Remember, your bus operator’s priority is to get customers to their destinations safely and on time. It is the duty of each of us to follow the county order and stay home when possible, and to keep our distance and cover our faces when we go out.
Why are we still running service?
Foothill Transit, and all public transportation, is defined as an essential service exempt from the Stay At Home order. Fewer customers on board is a good thing right now. We’re seeing a significant drop in ridership, and we expect that number to change as this crisis evolves. But public transit is an essential service. While some have the ability to choose how they get around, many of our customers rely heavily on us to help them get care, obtain vital supplies, and get to jobs that provide essential services to our community. So how do we balance that need for essential service with the need to maintain physical distance? The answer is to run the appropriate number of buses to enable fewer people on board. This is a balance that requires daily evaluation as we try to gauge how customers are responding to the Safer at Work and in the Community Order. We’re adjusting daily to new information.
Protecting the Foothill Transit Team
You can help keep our bus operators safe by staying home when possible. Please wear a face covering while you are on board the bus. We will not deny service to customers without a face covering, and there are valid medical reasons some people may not be able to wear a mask. Once on board, customers are asked to maintain a six-foot distance between themselves and the operator and stagger seating as much as possible to maintain the recommended physical distance. If there are too many people already on board to maintain a safe distance, wait for the next bus. We are still running regular service on the lines in operation. We are also monitoring ridership very carefully and adding trips if possible at times where crowding is an issue.
Our team members have all been provided with the recommended tools to protect their safety, such as cloth face coverings, disinfectant wipes, soap, hand sanitizer, barriers, and gloves as necessary. We clean and disinfect the interiors of our buses and facilities daily. Team members who can practice physical distancing or work from home have been provided with the tools to do so. We are monitoring and tracking confirmed COVID-19 cases among our team members. You can see that information here.
You can also help keep our bus operators safe by following the best practices listed below.
As more information becomes available, we will adjust to accommodate best practices recommended by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Follow these steps to keep yourself and your community healthy. It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure community health.
Limit contact with others by staying home. If you are mildly sick, stay home and self-isolate until your fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications and there is improvement in your respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) for at least 3 days (72 hours) after recovery, AND at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared or you were tested. If you have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is presumed to be infected with COVID-19, you must quarantine for 14 days from your last contact with that individual. If you begin experiencing symptoms, you must self-isolate for 10 days and 72 hours after fever and symptoms subside. Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen. Individuals who are elderly or who have underlying health conditions may be at higher risk of serious illness and should contact their doctor as soon as they are sick.
Wash your hands.
Washing your hands often and for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice) will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel. Try to avoid touching your face to keep germs on your hands from getting into your eyes, nose, or mouth. It may also be a good idea to avoid touching others, such as by shaking hands or kissing hello. Try alternatives like waving hello or touching elbows. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recommends that when taking transit, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before boarding, and then wash your hands again after disembarking.
Protect and disinfect.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home or work, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your cubital fossa (aka elbow pit) when coughing or sneezing. Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering while your are out of the home for essential business or tasks.
If you have other questions, please let us know at 1-800-RIDE-INFO (743-3463), email@example.com, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The CDC and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health also have many resources and valuable information on their websites.