new rule on transit give others 3 feet of distance
VTA increases capacity on transit vehicles starting May 26
05/24/2021
Brandi Childress

Now that Santa Clara County has entered the less restrictive Yellow Tier, VTA is updating on-board passenger capacity with 3-foot social distancing between passengers on bus and light rail vehicles.

VTA has been following the 6-foot distancing requirement since the Santa Clara County Health Department’s Shelter in Place order went into effect in March 2020. Because of this requirement, capacity on VTA buses was reduced 80-90%, allowing only 8 passengers on board a 40-foot bus and resulting in 600-800 customers being passed up daily. 

Starting Wednesday, May 26, the following on-board capacities will go into effect:

  • Light Rail – 34 passengers per car
  • 30-foot bus – 15 passengers per bus
  • 40-foot bus – 18 passengers per bus
  • 60-foot bus – 26 passengers per bus

“What this means is more capacity for more customers which is critical for mass public transit and for economic productivity as we continue to climb out of this pandemic,” said VTA Board Chair Glenn Hendricks. “We are not completely out of the woods until we can be at full passenger capacity on board our trains and buses, and this is a big step in the right direction.”

Passengers are responsible for ensuring they are at least 3 feet away from each other. Groups traveling together will be counted as one passenger and may sit or stand closer than 3 feet. For the safety of operators, customers will be required to remain behind the yellow limit line near the front of the bus while it is moving to maintain 6-feet distance from operators.

Wearing a mask is still required while waiting for and riding public transit.

VTA also encourages riders to download VTA’s EZfare app or get a Clipper card and load funds online in advance to go “contactless” when paying the fare.

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