City Council votes to cap the number of passengers on public transportation

Valley+Metro+Light+Rail+Train+-+Downtown+Phoenix

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Valley Metro Light Rail Train - Downtown Phoenix

Ivana Venema-Nunez, Reporter

On Monday, the Phoenix City Council unanimously voted to cap the number of passengers allowed on buses. 

According to the Arizona Republic, public transportation is considered essential and the decision to limit passengers came after two bus drivers tested positive for COVID-19.

The restrictions would limit the number of passengers on a traditional bus to 10, only five passengers will be allowed on smaller buses and 15 riders can occupy a 60-foot bus.

Since the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” executive order was issued by Governor Doug Ducey in mid-march public transportation declined between 45% to 65%.

According to the Arizona Republic article, other disease prevention strategies that the city has implemented include daily disinfecting “high touch” areas on trains and buses, regular “fogging” of vehicle interiors, which disinfects with a chemical known to kill the virus, installing hand sanitizer dispensers and blocking off seating near the bus drivers and light rail operators. Even less revenue is expected now, since passengers have to enter the busses from the rear, as a new prevention strategy, but passengers won’t have to provide proof of a valid bus ticket.

According to Arizona Republic, the city believes safety is more important than revenue, which is why it allowed relaxed fare enforcement.