No Mask, No Ride
New Federal Mask Order and Rear-Door Boarding Reinforce VTA’s Commitment to Safety
02/03/2021
Ken Blackstone

To continue providing a safe, clean and reliable service for our customers and employees during the pandemic, VTA evaluates and adjusts protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19. With Santa Clara County returning to the Purple Tier, we will implement the following additional measures to further reduce behaviors that may be contributing to the rise in positive cases among our VTA frontline workers:

  1. Effective Feb. 1, the Federal mandatory mask order while on or waiting for transit reinforces our local mandate and remains a top requirement for us to operate safely. Customers will not be able to board or remain on transit if not properly wearing a face covering. Masks are available onboard all vehicles, as is hand sanitizer.
  2.  Starting Feb. 8, VTA will increase frequency on seven bus routes to reduce the number of passenger pass-ups and still maintain the social distance requirement as the economy begins to open up.
  3.  Also on Feb. 8, VTA will test rear-door boarding and pause fare collection to further reduce customer-operator interactions. We will closely monitor how this impacts the positive rate of infection of VTA employees while also monitoring compliance with existing safety polices and rules by deploying compliance officers at VTA divisions and in the field.
  4.  VTA is also exploring additional third-party resources to lead the internal reporting process mandated by the County's Department of Public Health when a positive case is reported by one of our employees.

In July 2020, VTA implemented its 10-Point Plan which outlines actions to strengthen trust in riding transit, including frequent cleaning and sanitization of vehicles and work areas, personal protective equipment, face coverings, social distancing, ventilation, and touchless fares. This continues to be our roadmap.

In addition to these protections, customers can access real-time crowding information and receive important service alerts via the Transit app. Furthermore, VTA employees are required to stay home if not feeling well. We ask that customers do the same and consider public transit for essential trips only.

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