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Press Release



June 01,2021

New onboard social distancing will take effect Monday, June 7

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) is transitioning from six-foot onboard physical distancing requirements to three feet at the start of service, Monday, June 7. Relaxing the six-foot mandate, which has been in place since March 2020, is the result of significant public health achievements in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, AC Transit’s two primary service areas.

As of this writing, Alameda County Health Care Services reports 846,752 (or 63.5%) of county residents are fully vaccinated, and another 1,072,757 (or 78%) have received at least one vaccine dose. Similar successes have been documented by Contra Costa Health Services. Currently, 636,899 (or 64.5%) of its county residents have completed full vaccination cycles, and another 734,126 (or 74%) are now partially vaccinated.

Our transition to three-feet physical distancing is also made possible through innovative engineering and strict adherence to the following COVID-19 onboard safeguards: free onboard facemasks and hand sanitizers for riders, outfitting our entire fleet with Bus Operator compartment COVID-19 shields, gloves, goggles, face shields, and sanitizer for our frontline employees, nightly anti-viral fogging and cleaning, advanced HVAC system air filters across our fleet, and designing new positive airflow ventilation procedures.

Fifteen months of six-foot physical distancing dramatically reduced our ability to deliver our vital service to East Bay Riders. Previously, our passenger limits were as few as ten riders on standard buses and no greater than 24 riders on our largest buses.

The transition to three-feet physical distancing demonstrably improves our onboard passenger capacity, thereby reducing pass-ups and easing overcrowding on our most heavily traveled bus lines. The new passenger capacities are as follows:

40-foot standard bus                    20 riders

45-foot bus                                 24 riders

60-foot articulated bus                32 riders

43-foot double decker bus              48 riders

Riders living in the same household are not subject to the three-foot physical distancing requirement and may travel in closer contact. AC Transit continues to appeal to our riders and communities to partner with us in maintaining onboard capacities.

Our entire fleet is now outfitted with a physical distance delineation line. The newly added strip is affixed to the coach floor parallel to the tire well and provides a protective distance between Bus Operator and riders while the bus is in motion.

The delineation line is a bold blue stripe, which carries bright gold language that reads: STAND BEHIND LINE. Bookending the safety language are directional arrows pointing to the rear of the coach as a reminder to remain behind the line.

AC Transit riders are also reminded that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended its enforcement of the facemask mandate for all public transportation systems nationwide. As a result, riders must wear facemasks while waiting to board and whenever on board.