TTD to offer free transit service starting Sunday | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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TTD to offer free transit service starting Sunday

A Tahoe Transportation District bus makes its rounds in South Lake Tahoe.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

STATELINE, Nev. — Tahoe Transportation District is providing free transit for the next couple of years, starting Sunday, which will make travel safer for both drivers and riders.

Starting Sunday, April 12, TTD said in a press release that it will offer free service on all transit routes to eliminate fare exchanges between operators and passengers.

“This accelerated roll-out of TTD’s planned transition to a zero-fare program is intended to assist the community during this difficult time and enable passengers and operators to minimize risks by following the Centers for Disease Control social distancing guidelines,” said the release.

Zero-fare transit systems are shown to enhance efficiency, boost on-time performance, and increase safety for passengers and operators, in addition to ensuring the regular operation of critical transit services for essential workers and services, said the release. 

TTD secured grant funding to operate the zero-fare program through May 31, 2022.

After May 31, 2022, fare-free services will depend on the availability of additional funding sources.

“TTD has implemented a number of policies to combat COVID-19, and a fare-free transit system is a logical next step to continue that effort and help ease the burden of what has suddenly become a tough economic climate for many in the community,” said Carl Hasty, district manager of the Tahoe Transportation District, in the release. “In addition to the advantage of eliminating fare exchanges amid the coronavirus pandemic, a zero-fare transit program may help lessen traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and particulates that impact the lake.”

TTD asks the community to observe the following guidelines to minimize COVID-19 risks while using transit:

  • Practice social distancing and ride transit only for essential travel during shelter-in-place orders.
  • Observe the buffer zone of empty seats around transit operators.
  • Enter and exit using the back door if the bus is equipped with one.
  • Use the hand sanitizer available on all buses when boarding and exiting the bus.
  • If you are sick or not feeling well, please don’t ride transit.
  • Be kind and courteous to transit operators.

In response to COVID-19, TTD has implemented a number of enhanced safety protocols that include: daily and nightly sanitizing of bus contact surfaces; use of gloves and cloth face masks; contingency planning for transit services and operations; daily communications with local health and emergency services officials; virtual meetings; and the availability of remote work, for employees who can do so. 

TTD continues to monitor and implement the latest preventative measures and recommendations from the CDC and local, state, and federal health officials.

TTD urges everyone to follow the CDC’s COVID-19 guidance, which includes social distancing of at least six feet and frequent hand-washing. 

Public transit is classified as an essential service in both California and Nevada and may be used during shelter-in-place orders for essential travel. If travel isn’t essential, TTD asks that you follow shelter-in-place orders and not ride transit.

For more information, visit http://www.TahoeTransportation.org/transit. 

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that TTD is offering free transit service through May 2020.


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