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Press Release

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October 16,2020

Buses are now retrofitted with driver protective shields to safeguard against COVID-19.

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) wishes to remind riders that front door boarding and onboard fare collection will resume on all bus lines, except Tempo BRT Line 1, at the start of service on Monday, October 19.

Tempo Line 1 remains in its inaugural thank you campaign to riders – along the 9.5-mile corridor between downtown Oakland and the San Leandro Transit Center – and thus will continue to operate fare-free through Monday, November 9.

We wish to thank all riders for your understanding and continued support, as our transit district was forced to make considerable onboard changes in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Public Health Officer’s guidance requires a six-foot clearance between Bus Operators and most passengers – particularly at the farebox and Clipper card reader where crowding often occurred. Our transit district adopted rear door boarding to remain in compliance with emergency orders, which led to the elimination of onboard fare collection. As a result, AC Transit is losing approximately $1 million each week in farebox revenues.

Despite the dramatic loss in farebox revenues, the District forged ahead with the reNEW Plan to combat COVID-19. Although costly, reNEW represents a series of internally designed initiatives to keep our essential service running; we emerged as the first East Bay transit agency to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to both employees and riders. Daily anti-viral spraying and fogging, and the costs of retrofitting more than 400 buses with our innovative polycarbonate or Lexan glass Bus Operator Protective Shields.

The Lexan glass shields are vital to fare restoration because each 3/16 inch thick shield will help limit the spread of airborne droplets from coughing, sneezing, or speaking from reaching the Bus Operator, ultimately helping to mitigate the potential transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Restoring fare collection also helps to defray the mounting costs generated by these and other COVID-19 safeguards.

It is important to note, however, fare restoration is not a remedy to AC Transit’s fiscal crisis. We continue to closely monitor the viability of our traditional funding streams, ever mindful that AC Transit joins transit agencies statewide in desperate need of $3.1 billion in emergency funding relief. Funding support is critical to prevent temporary cuts from becoming permanent service actions.

Additional information on AC Transit fares, the resumption of onboard fare restoration, and the reNEW Plan are available at