- Free Consultations / No Fees Until We Win
- (213) 927-3700
Personal Injury Firm
The City of Pasadena is reportedly putting an end to free bus rides, and will start collecting fares again on Apr. 12. This comes after more than a year after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted virtually everything, including bus fares. The fees will be the same as they were before the pandemic.
The City had reportedly stopped collecting those fees to ensure driver and rider safety. But with lower COVID-19 case counts and new driver barriers, riders will have to pay to use the city’s public transit. As COVID spiked, Los Angeles Metro ridership reportedly declined from a high of 615,000 in Oct. to 475,000 in Dec., but it began rebounding in Jan. The Metro board of directors recently voted to spend millions of dollars to restore transit service that had been slashed throughout the pandemic. Because of it, the agency undertook different cost-saving measures, most notably cutting bus service by 20% in Sep. 2020.
According to a city press release, anyone who had an active 30-day pass that was interrupted by the Mar. 16, 2020 Stay at Home order will get a credit on their TAP card free of charge. In order to get the credit, riders will need to use the TAP card on a Pasadena transit bus within 60 days of Apr. 12.
And though the pandemic situation is improving throughout Los Angeles County, all of the coronavirus-related safety features installed over the past year will stay in place. This includes limiting the number of riders at any given time, requiring everyone to wear a mask, hand sanitizers being offered on board, and nightly floor-to-ceiling disinfections.
Despite the panic surrounding the use of public transportation during the early days of the pandemic, scientists eventually found that public transit was one of the most COVID-safe places to be outside the home. Many scientific studies reassured essential workers that it was largely safe to take public transportation given that many public transit vehicles are relatively uncrowded, well-ventilated, and usually not the site of the kind of loud conversations that can accelerate the spread of airborne particles. Moreover, the fact that most transit agencies are requiring personal protective equipment to passengers also factors in.
No COVID-19 infection clusters in the country have been attributed to encounters on public transportation. Needless to say, commuters in the U.S. face higher dangers on the roads in personal cars, bicycles, and even on foot than in busses and trains. In a recent report, the American Public Transportation Association pointed out that “passengers are about 20 times more likely to experience a fatal crash in a car than when using public transit,” because of the dangers of the high-speed auto travel of typical American commuting.
Recently, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which includes $30.5 billion for the transit industry, as well as $1.7 billion for Amtrak. The legislation provides transit agencies critical emergency funding that will allow their services to continue to serve communities throughout the nation. “We greatly appreciate that the bill includes $30.5 billion of emergency transit funding and distributes these funds in a manner that ensures that all public transit agencies can continue to be a lifeline for our essential workers, while also ensuring Americans can get to vaccine distribution sites and communities can rebuild from the economic devastation caused by the pandemic,” said APTA President and CEO Paul Skoutelas.