OAKLAND (CBS SF) – The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District announced that fare collection and front door boarding on its buses will resume Monday for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AC Transit suspended taking fares in late March, at the beginning of the shelter-in-place order. Riders, except those who needed to use ADA ramps, were also told to board from the rear door only.READ MORE: UPDATE: Fremont Sexual Assault Suspect Now Charged in 3rd Case; Additional Victims Sought
Suspending fare collection has cost the agency $1 million in farebox revenues each week, officials said.
“We wish to thank all riders for your understanding and continued support, as our transit district was forced to make considerable onboard changes,” transit officials said in a statement on Friday.READ MORE: A Surprise Hit, Filipino-Theme Home Movie Filmed in Daly City Spawns Sequel
To facilitate fare collection, the agency has retrofitted more than 400 buses with protective polycarbonate shields for drivers. AC transit said the shields, which are 3/16 inch thick, will help limit the spread of airborne droplets, which is how the coronavirus is primarily spread.
The agency is also combating COVID-19 by supplying PPE to both employees and riders, along with antiviral spraying and fogging of vehicles each day.MORE NEWS: COVID Reopening: East Bay Moviegoers Carefully Step Back Into Theaters
Collection of fares will resume on all lines on Monday except for the recently-opened Tempo Bus Rapid Transit line between Uptown Oakland and the San Leandro Transit Center. Fare collection will begin on the Tempo line starting November 9th.