SANTA ANA (CNS) -- The Orange County Transportation Authority announced today that bus riders can now use their mobile devices to find out in real-time if their desired bus has enough available seats given the reduced-capacity protocols of the coronavirus pandemic.
OCTA launched the real-time occupancy data feature in partnership with the Transit app this week to become one of 38 agencies worldwide offering bus-capacity information via the app.
Riders can download the free Transit app to help plan their bus trip,see where their bus is currently at on the route, and find out how many passengers are aboard.
During the pandemic, OCTA is limiting the number of bus passengers to allow for physical distancing of at least six feet when possible. The guideline requires a regular 40-foot bus to carry no more than 15 passengers, and a 60-foot bus up to 20 passengers.
As a bus approaches, riders can get information about whether it 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, who is also the mayor of Garden Grove.
OCTA's automated passenger-counting system, the tool to track ridership numbers throughout the bus system, is used to communicate current capacity information through the Transit app.
“This pandemic is a devastating public health crisis that has been a catalyst for OCTA to examine all of our operations closely from a health andsafety 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.''
For more information on OCTA's bus system, go to www.OCBus.com.