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Footnotes

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Coronavirus COVID-19

Posted March 28th, 2020
social distancing

What do you need to know about Foothill Transit service and COVID-19?

Both the County of Los Angeles and the State of California have declared a health emergency and a Stay at Home Order regarding the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic. The Stay at Home Order is currently effective until April 19, and it is very possible that this will be extended. We’re committed to safeguarding our community health.

With community spread, Los Angeles County will continue to see more cases of COVID-19. We have all been ordered to practice social distancing by avoiding non-essential travel, public events, community gatherings, and indoor venues. Certain activities are still permitted, such as travel to work at essential services, public transportation, and essential shopping. 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. If possible, leave about six feet of space between you and others on board.

Will service change?

Foothill Transit service is reduced as of Monday, March 23rd. Commuter Express Lines 490, 493, 495, 498, 499, and 699, along with Line 690 and Lines 851-854 are not running. All other local lines and the Silver Streak are still running regular service. DuartEbus is still running regular service. 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 our customers through foothilltransit.org and our social media channels where appropriate. We will use these six service levels as a guide. 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. Visit /news/e-notice/. 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: /news/e-notice/rider-alert-login/.

The Puente Hills Mall Transit Center in Rowland Heights is now closed. This closure affects Lines 178, 185, 280, 281, 282, 285, 289, and 482. During this closure, Lines 178, 289, and 482 will not serve their stops at Colima Rd and Albatross Rd. Please use a stop on Albatross Rd across from the Marie Callender’s restaurant. Click here to see a map of closed and alternate stops.

Rear door boarding on all buses

Effective immediately, customers will enter and exit the buses using the rear entrance only to help maintain proper social distancing. Customers who need to use the ramp may still board through the front door. In order to maintain proper social distancing, we are not collecting fares at this time.

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 social distance. If there are too many people already on board to maintain a safe distance, you may wait for the next bus. We are still running regular service on the lines in operation.

Fares and questions

Effective immediately, all Foothill Transit Stores will be closed until further notice in response to COVID-19. Customers are encouraged to call 1-800-RIDE-INFO for all their transit-related needs.

To order passes online, please log on to taptogo.net. You can follow these instructions for purchasing fares and passes online.

If you have purchased a pass that you now can’t use, we will refund the amount corresponding to the days remaining on the pass. Please call 800-RIDE-INFO (743-3463) or email comment@foothilltransit.org to get started. You will need to provide the 16-digit number on the back of your TAP card.

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 an over 50% 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 social 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 Home Order. We’re adjusting daily to new information.

Protecting the Foothill Transit Team

Our team members have all been provided with the recommended tools to protect their safety, such as disinfectant wipes, soap, hand sanitizer, and gloves and masks as necessary. We clean and disinfect the interiors of our buses and facilities daily. Team members who can practice social distancing or work from home have been provided with the tools to do so.

You can help keep our bus operators safe by avoiding non-essential travel and entering and exiting the buses using the rear entrance only to help maintain proper social distancing. Customers who need to use the ramp may still board through the front door. In order to maintain proper social distancing, we are not collecting fares at this time. 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 social distance. If there are too many people already on board to maintain a safe distance, you may 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.

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.

Stay home if possible, especially when you are sick.

If possible, limit contact with others by staying home. If you are mildly sick, stay home for at least seven days or until 72 hours after being fever free, whichever is longer. Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or are pregnant should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick. Keep in mind that everyone has a right to access their local public transit system. We will never discriminate against anyone by denying them access to our buses.

Practice social distancing.

Avoid non-essential travel, public events, community gatherings, and indoor venues. This guidance does not apply to activities such as work at essential services, public transportation, or essential shopping.

Enter and exit the buses using the rear entrance only to help maintain proper social distancing. Customers who need to use the ramp may still board through the front door. If there are too many people already on board to maintain a safe distance, you may wait for the next bus. We are still running regular service on the lines in operation.

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 social distance.

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.

Take time to get a flu vaccine.

The vaccine doesn’t cover COVID-19, but influenza can be just as debilitating and is still a threat. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older. Children younger than six months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. Instead, people who care for infants should be vaccinated.

If you have other questions, please let us know at 1-800-RIDE-INFO (743-3463), comment@foothilltransit.org, 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.

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