Riding on VTA is now free, but please, board at the back of the bus | News | Palo Alto Online |


Riding on VTA is now free, but please, board at the back of the bus

Agency aims keep passengers away from bus drivers during coronavirus outbreak

In order for all area residents to have important local information on the coronavirus health emergency, Palo Alto Online has lifted its pay meter and is providing unlimited access to its website. We need your support to continue our important work. Please join your neighbors and become a subscribing member today.

Most passengers will board buses through the rear door and fares will not be collected under changes announced Thursday by the Valley Transportation Authority to promote social distancing and lessen the spread of coronavirus.

Effective immediately, passengers will board buses via the back door, away from the driver. Front door boarding will be reserved for passengers who need to use the ramp or require priority seating.

The area around the operator will be taped off, meaning no access to the farebox or Clipper Card reader.

In addition, fares will not be collected for light rail or paratransit service.

The transit agency also said that starting Monday, it will suspend its Rapid 500 service from San Jose Diridon Station to Berryessa Transit Center. Its School Tripper service was suspended earlier.

No other changes are being made, but the agency said it continues to analyze ridership for other possible service changes.

"Like everyone else in this unique situation, with employees on leave or working from home, we will experience gaps in service," VTA said in an announcement.

Service updates are online at vta.org/covid-19.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.


Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?


There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Get fact-based reporting on the COVID-19 crisis sent to your inbox daily.

'A devastating impact:' The coronavirus claims Clarke's Charcoal Broiler, Mountain View's oldest operating restaurant
By Elena Kadvany | 29 comments | 11,659 views

Coronavirus Food Safety Update + New! Insider Tips
By Laura Stec | 7 comments | 4,702 views

A Pragmatic Approach to A Trillion Trees
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 3,333 views

The University of California’s flexible policies during COVID-19
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 6 comments | 2,301 views

Repairing a Disagreement with your Beloved & “Physical” vs. “Social” Distancing
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 2,107 views



The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details