Transportation Options During Coronavirus Pandemic

While the majority of transportation services will continue, MTS spokesperson Mark Olson said that riders should only take rides for essential functions


While San Diego County residents slow down to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, some transportation services are being reduced or halted.

While public transportation is considered an essential service under a public order for the state of California, because of decreases in ridership, many services have had to make adjustments. Here's where the transportation options available to San Diego County residents stand:

Buses, Trolleys and Rails

The North County Transit District (NCTD) will continue their Breeze bus services on a normal schedule, though their "school trippers" buses, which serve schools in North County, will be halted while students are out of session.

The Coaster system will also limit services due to a decrease in ridership, NCTD said Monday. Weekend Coaster service would be suspended while weekday coaster service will operate on a temporary schedule, which can be found here.

Coaster riders can also utilize the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner when riding in San Diego County, though the service will also be limited. For the current Surfliner schedule, visit here.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) will continue to operate its buses and trolleys on a normal weekday and weekend service through April 12. On April 13, bus routes and trolley service will be reduced by about 25 percent though no routes will be eliminated. Click here to see what changes MTS announced on April 4.

Uber and Lyft

Both Uber and Lyft announced last week they would halt shared rides to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) six feet of social distancing rule.

Regular rides would still be available but riders were asked to only utiliz

When to Ride

While the majority of transportation services will continue, MTS spokesperson Mark Olson said that riders should only use the service only for essential functions like going to the grocery store or to pick up prescription medication.

Both NCTD and MTS urged passengers to not use the public transportation services if they were feeling ill unless it was absolutely necessary after consulting with a medical professional.

A decrease in ridership is allowing for social distancing on public transportation, according to MTS. Buses and Trolleys are being monitored to ensure social distancing is utilized amid the outbreak.

Lyft and Uber shared a similar message and urged riders to stay at home if they were feeling sick. Riders were asked to wash their hands before and after their rides, to sit in the back and open the window where possible.

Are Transportation Services Clean?

Both MTS and NCTD ensure riders that extra precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of their riders. For the efforts being taken by NCTD, click here, and for what MTS is doing to keep transportation services clean, click here.

Transportation operators have been informed about safety measures and have been provided with personal protective equipment, MTS said.

MTS will still have security checking for tickets but from a safe distance on platforms to ensure social distancing in an open space. Officers will still be present on trains to help provide security.

Lyft and Uber said they are partnering with health officials to ensure riders and drivers are COVID-19-free. Accounts will be temporarily suspended for any rider or driver who is reported to have COVID-19 from public health authorities. It was not disclosed how cases would be reported to the rideshare services.

For more information on how to what the coronavirus outbreak means for you, click here.

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