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How Many Seats Are Available? New Real-time App Helps Bus Riders Plan

Those planning an OC Bus ride can now check the number of available seats before they board using an innovative new app that shows real-time occupancy. OCTA is one of 38 agencies worldwide offering bus capacity information via the Transit app.

The free Transit app helps OC Bus riders plan their trip, see where their bus is currently running on the route, and – for the first time – receive information on how full the bus is.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, OCTA is currently limiting the number of passengers on buses to allow for physical distancing of at least six feet, when possible.

As a bus approaches, the Transit app indicates if a bus has “many seats" (less than one-third full), “some seats” (less than two-thirds full), or “very limited seats” (more than two-thirds full).

“The health of our passengers and employees has always been our priority and the addition of information about bus capacity gives our OC Bus riders another important tool to help them travel intelligently and safely, especially during these difficult times,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove.

OCTA’s automated passenger counting (APC) system, for years one of the tools used to track ridership numbers throughout the bus system, communicates current capacity information through the Transit app.

 “The COVID-19 pandemic is a devastating public health crisis that has been a catalyst for OCTA to examine all of our operations closely from a health and safety perspective,” said OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson. “Exploring and implementing technology solutions is one more way to improve the travel experience for essential workers and others who depend upon transit.”

The addition of real-time capacity data is the latest safety measure OCTA is taking during the ongoing public health crisis. Other measures include enhanced bus cleanings, temporary rear-door boardings, onboard hand sanitizers, a face covering requirement, and a pilot program that has helped distribute thousands of free face coverings to riders who need them. To learn more about OCTA’s COVID-19 safety guidelines, click here.

The real-time information is only available via the Transit app, which can be downloaded for free at the App Store or on Google Play. App users can tap on a specific route for a “route detail view,” then tap on the bus icon itself for current capacity information for a particular bus on the route. Click here for more information.

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