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March 12, 2020

Big Blue Bus’s Efforts to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Last update: March 27, 2020

Big Blue Bus is implementing rear-door boarding on all buses to protect our customers, operators and community

Información en Español 

Big Blue Bus and the City of Santa Monica are closely monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) locally and across the globe in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. We are following Public Health’s guidance along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

What actions is Big Blue Bus taking  

Big Blue Bus is continuing to provide service with schedule modifications across most routes that serve our community. 

On Friday, March 20, the following procedures were implemented on board, to protect the safety and well-being of our operators and customers:

  • Rear-door boarding: Customers must board and exit through the rear door only, except those with a mobility device, stroller, or accessibility need.
  • Fares no longer enforced: We are no longer enforcing collection of cash and pre-paid fares (i.e. TAP, paper passes, and mobile tickets).
  • Do not approach operators: In an effort to follow WHO, CDC, and LA Public Health guidelines for social distancing, we are working to ensure our operators and customers can maintain a safe distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This measure allows us to keep our service running during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Big Blue Bus has implemented additional daily cleaning and sanitizing efforts on board our buses and on MODE wheelchair accessible vehicles, and are utilizing hospital grade solutions to sanitize high touch areas on board all of our vehicles. We are continually evaluating our cleaning procedures to ensure they match what the situation requires in alignment with the CDC and Public Health guidance.  

It is important to keep in mind that surfaces are only clean until someone touches them or coughs/sneezes nearby. This means we need your help to prevent the spread of any virus this flu season.

How can I protect myself while using 
public transportation?  

As with other respiratory illnesses, there are steps that everyone can take daily to reduce the risk of getting sick or infecting others with circulating viruses.  

  • Avoid non-essential travel, public gatherings, and places where large groups of people congregate and limit the gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for sever illness from COVID-19 (people older than 65, pregnant women, and those with chronic illness) to no more than 10 people. 
  • If you are over age 65, stay home and shelter in your place.
  • Stay home when if you feel sick, even if your symptoms are mild. It's better for you and it keeps others from getting sick, too. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transportation.  
  • If possible, leave about six feet of space between you and those who might be sick with a cough or fever.  
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after touching commonly handled surfaces such as poles, turnstiles, straphangers, or handles.  
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands). 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Try to use buses and trains when it is not as busy. Leave earlier or later for work if possible.  
  • When passing through turnstiles use your hip or the back of your hand. 

What else can I do to protect myself and others 

During this flu season, take extra steps and precautions to guard yourself and others against any virus by:  

  • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. Hand washing tips from the CDC can be viewed here. 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands). 
  • Get a flu shot to prevent influenza if you have not done so this season. 

How can I stay informed? 

Big Blue Bus will continue to update customers on this page, via email (subscribe)Twitter (@smbigbluebus)and Facebook (@smbigbluebusas appropriate. 

Stay informed on what’s happening in Santa Monica: 

Resource Links:  

We’ll update this page whenever new procedures, news, or information is available when related to our services and programs. There are a number of reliable sources that provide the most up-to-date, accurate information about novel coronavirus.