What It’s Like to Ride the Bus During COVID-19

Clinton Bench riding a bus

In response to COVID-19, transit services are taking measures to prioritize the safety and well-being of bus passengers. All transit agencies operating on UCLA property are following guidelines set forth by the CDC, and are also modifying routes and schedules to allow for greater physical distancing.

But what does it look like to experience these protocols first hand? Clinton Bench, UCLA Transportation's Director of Fleet & Transit, shared with us one of his recent commutes to campus by bus.

His journey started on Metro's Route 244 from the San Fernando Valley, and he noticed how the bus was clean and spacious. "Everyone is wearing a facial covering on the bus, and there's plenty of room to be physically distant from other customers."

The next leg of Clinton's trip had him taking the Orange Line from De Soto to the Balboa Station. There were only a couple of people on board initially, and even though more got on during the ride, "there was always plenty of space between me and other customers, and everyone had their face coverings on for the whole trip."

Clinton Bench riding a bus

Clinton's final connection was the LADOT Commuter Express 573 from the Balboa Station to the Gayley/Strathmore stop on campus. Having had a conference call at home earlier that morning, he caught it later than usual and was able to have the bus all to himself! Being able to hop on another conference call, he shared with his colleagues about how BruinBus is keeping passengers safe, including multiple cleanings per day, required face coverings for all on board, and hand sanitizers placed at both the front and rear doors.

Reflecting on his commute, the protocols that Clinton experienced give him confidence that riding transit is still a great way to get to campus. "When we apply all the same principles we've learned from the news and our doctors about proper prevention measures, we can still 'go green' and relax on our commutes to work!"