COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a team effort. Here’s what you need to know.
Latest Update: Limiting Riders on Buses
We’ll be limiting how many people are allowed on buses starting the evening of April 2. No more than 10-15 riders can be on a bus at one time — 10 individuals, or up to 15 if people are riding together (such as couples or parents with children).
This is to make sure people have enough space to spread out and to prevent overcrowding. If a bus has 10-15 riders, it will not pick up new passengers until someone exits. We’ll try to adjust service if buses are consistently full, but you may still want to leave extra time for your trip.
We’ll also be adding signs to some bus seats that will ask riders not to sit in them. These signs will be arranged to give riders a safe amount of space from each other and the operator.
There are a lot of essential workers keeping our community going right now — make sure you leave them a seat so they can get to work. Please stay off transit unless you’re heading to or from an essential job, or you’re traveling to the grocery store or pharmacy.
We know all these recent changes haven’t been easy or convenient — we’ve been asking a lot from you. But these restrictions will help our community get through this, so we can get back to serving you normally as soon as possible. We’re as eager for that day as you are. Stay safe (and stay home!)
Please check our service alerts before you travel.
Due to staffing, we’ll be reducing our Customer Service hours. We’re available by phone from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and by text, email or social media until 9:30 p.m., seven days a week.
We’re open if you really need us. Please stay at least six feet from our staff and other riders.
The Ticket Office and Lost & Found are open normal hours.
Due to reduced demand, LIFT is temporarily reducing reservation call center hours to 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on weekends. Customer service hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday.
Transit Mobility Center is closed until further notice.
Service will temporarily be reduced on MAX, WES and most bus lines starting April 5.
This is a necessary adjustment that will help us quickly bounce back when this public health crisis passes.
What We’re Doing
What we’re doing to keep you safe
We’re wiping all frequently touched surfaces on our buses and trains with disinfectant each night. In addition, frequently touched surfaces at our rail stations and transit centers are being wiped down with disinfectant daily. This includes Hop readers, ticket machines, pay phones, elevator doors and elevator buttons.
One of the most important things that can be done to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to keep it off transit and out of public spaces to begin with, by not traveling when you’re sick.
We’re in close contact with local, state and national health authorities. The Oregon Health Authority is leading the response across Oregon, and we’re following their advice in terms of precautions and mitigation measures.
What we’re doing to keep bus operators safe
The regional health officer says the risk for bus operators is low due to the bus doors opening and closing so much. That ventilation helps. We are also taking other steps to help our bus operators stay healthy, and that may take some patience from you.
All buses, MAX, WES and LIFT vehicles are cleaned with disinfectant nightly — including the operator cabins. However, if an operator feels they need to wash their hands, we’re allowing them to stop mid-route to do so. (Thanks for your patience and understanding if this happens while you’re on board!)
We’ve been able to get hand sanitizer thanks to local distilleries, which has been given to operators. We’re also giving them disinfectant wipes for operators. There is currently a nationwide shortage for both these products, but we’re finding ways to get them.
Our buses now have a second yellow line that’s six feet back from the driver, near the Priority Seating area. Riders should stay behind this line when the bus is in motion — it's there to help operators practice social distancing while they're driving.
Nearly half our buses have plexiglass safety panels that can be closed to protect operators. On all buses we ask riders to stay at least six feet from the operator. You can move but they can’t.
We’re going to start issuing face coverings to our operators and staff who work out on our system.
While medical masks need to be saved for health care workers, health experts are now saying face coverings — a type of non-medical mask — are okay as added protection in public places.
The health experts are stressing that even when wearing these face coverings, the other safety precautions must still be practiced: distance yourself from others, avoid traveling, frequently wash your hands, and avoid touching your face.
We’ll continue to work closely with the Oregon Health Authority to minimize risks to our staff and riders.
We’re no longer taking cash on buses
Our operators play a vital role in keeping our community moving during this unprecedented time in history. To support their health and safety and yours, and out of abundance of caution, we have decided to stop accepting cash fares on board buses.
This is a temporary measure to help with social distancing and to minimize the time riders spend near our bus operators. Instead, you’ll need to pay with Hop: a plastic Hop card, your phone using a mobile wallet or virtual card, or a Hop ticket purchased at a ticket machine at a MAX or WES station.
If you don’t already have a Hop card, you can get a free one by visiting the TriMet Ticket Office in Pioneer Courthouse Square. We’ll also mail you a card if you call 503-238-RIDE (7433) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, address (including city, state and zip code) and what type of Hop card you need (Adult, Youth, or Honored Citizen). At this time we are only honoring requests for Hop cards from within the TriMet service area.
How we’re cleaning the system
We regularly clean our vehicles and continue to do so. As an extra level of precaution, we’re wiping down all touchpoints on our buses and trains with disinfectant each night. This includes things like railings, straps, doors, exit buttons, seats, and more.
We’re also wiping down all touchpoints on our system — including MAX stations and elevators — with disinfectant every day. This includes ticket vending machines, HOP validators, pay phones, and elevator doors and buttons.
We’ll continue to evaluate our cleaning procedures and make changes as needed.
It is important to keep in mind that the surfaces where people touch should never be considered sanitized. That’s because the surface is only clean until someone touches it or coughs/sneezes nearby.
Riders also play an important role in preventing the spread of coronavirus locally.
Where to get info about COVID-19
Riders should follow the recommendations of local and national health authorities. You can follow them via the links below.
Advice from health professionals
What you can do
We urge riders to follow The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations:
- Social distancing: Practice “social distancing” by keeping at least six feet between you and other people, including our operators and employees.
- Wash your hands: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Don’t touch your face: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze: Cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw that tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, use your elbow (and not your hands).
- Stay home if you’re not feeling well
- Wear a face covering: Wear a cloth face covering when out in public, including on transit. Save the N95 masks for health care workers.
With more people working from home, there is more space on buses and trains for us all to spread out. Please be mindful of other people and their space.
More information and tips
Why is transit still running?
Transit is considered an essential service. Our buses and trains transport medical staff, first responders, transit and grocery store employees and others who must travel to help others and to keep our community going. At this time, you should only ride transit if necessary to access food, medicine or essential work.
I have to ride transit. How can I do so safely and responsibly?
You should only use transit for essential trips, but it’s safer for everybody if you follow a few simple guidelines.
Do you plan on having people board buses through the back doors?
Unfortunately, this is not possible at this time. Operators can unlock our back doors but they can’t open them remotely. Riders would have to pry them open with their hands, which would create a major touchpoint.
I can’t stay six feet from the operator while boarding a bus. Is it safe to ride?
Yes. The Oregon Health Authority says that if staying six feet away isn’t an option — like when boarding a bus — you should keep a minimum of three feet between you and other people. The six-foot recommendation is for prolonged contact and there is low risk from somebody quickly passing by. Please avoid lingering up front and sit towards the back, at least six feet from the operator. If it’s too crowded, please consider waiting for the next bus.