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

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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

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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.

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