The Orange County Transportation Authority expects to increase bus service next week following reductions prompted by plummeting ridership after declaration of the coronavirus pandemic, Chairman Steve Jones announced Tuesday.
Bus service will increase to normal Saturday service levels on most routes Monday through Saturday with extra bus trips on the agency’s busiest routes so commuters can maintain social distancing.
Regular weekday service on 14 routes will be restored to normal levels, officials said.
Sunday bus service will continue at its normal levels as will service for the disabled.
“OCTA remains committed to keeping the health and safety of our customers and OCTA employees as the No. 1 priority while continuing to provide essential transit services,” Jones said.
“As our county begins to gradually and responsibly reopen, the OC Bus system will be there to help our residents safely get where they need to go.”
The agency continues to provide hand sanitizer to bus riders. Enhanced cleaning is performed on the buses nightly.
Riders are also asked to wear face coverings and keep at least six feet from each other.
Bus service levels were reduced to Sunday schedules every day of the week on March 23 because of the pandemic.
Ridership has recovered somewhat as businesses are allowed to reopen, officials said.
The agency was averaging nearly 125,000 riders daily before the pandemic, but that number plunged to 33,000 a day in March and April. In recent weeks, ridership has risen to about 47,000 riders a day.
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