Citing COVID-19 concerns, Phoenix will limit passengers on city buses
Phoenix will begin limiting the number of passengers on city buses as part of its effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The City Council voted unanimously Monday to cap the number of passengers allowed on buses. A typical 40-foot bus will be capped at 10 passengers. Smaller circulator buses will have a five-passenger limit and 60-foot buses will allow 15 passengers.
Since the city's declaration of emergency in mid-March, ridership of local buses, rapid/express buses, light rail and dial-a-ride has declined between 45% to 65%.
The decision to limit passengers came after the bus drivers union requested such a cap. Two bus drivers in metro Phoenix have contracted COVID-19, according to city staff.
Public transportation is considered essential and therefore must remain open, per Gov. Doug Ducey's executive orders.
Phoenix Deputy City Manager Mario Paniagua told the council that the transit system today is serving "the ones most in need of transportation" — many of whom are essential workers like grocery store employees, construction workers and health care employees.
In addition to the new cap, the city has implemented other disease prevention strategies and plans to add more in the coming days.