OCTA has continued to make changes to the OC Bus system to ensure the health and safety of passengers and employees. Safety procedures include enhanced nightly bus cleaning, implementing rear-door passenger boarding, limiting the number of passengers on board each bus when possible, adding signage to buses reminding passengers to practice social distancing and adding service on busier routes to accommodate fewer passengers on each bus.
Most recently, OCTA installed hand sanitizer dispensers near the rear doors of every OC Bus to give passengers the opportunity to sanitize their hands as they enter and exit the bus. In addition, as stay-at-home orders begin to ease and businesses and activity centers start the process of reopening, OCTA is asking riders to wear face coverings while onboard in a continuing effort to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
OCTA is closely monitoring ridership to respond to demand while taking steps to help protect passengers and coach operators. Ridership has started to increase slightly over the last couple of weeks. To keep pace with the ridership trends and to allow for continued on-board social distancing, OCTA expects to adjust service levels and provide added trips on some routes in the coming month as part of the service change that goes into effect June 14.
Activities also continue on OCTA’s projects to accelerate construction where possible because of low traffic volumes on freeways and streets. On the I-405 Improvement Project, these efforts have been successful, and it is estimated that extended closures have provided more than 5,000 additional work hours for contractors.
However, construction on I-5 improvements in south Orange County is being affected by delays in utility work as a result of state orders that restrict utility companies from implementing outages through the end of June. The impacts to the project are unknown at this time, and the contractor is making efforts to deploy resources to other areas of the project.