LAVTA Suspends Fare Collection to Help Protect Drivers and Riders

As a preventive measure in response to the potential spread of the Coronavirus Disease, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) will suspend the collection of passenger fares on all Wheels and Rapid buses effective Friday March 20. This measure also applies to LAVTA’s Dial-a-Ride paratransit service and will remain in effect through the duration of the Alameda County Health Officer’s Shelter in Place order at a minimum.

LAVTA Board Chair David Haubert commented that “going fare free on the Wheels bus system is a very positive, important step in protecting the health and safety of both bus operators and riders and helps members of the Tri-Valley in need of transportation options in this difficult time”.

The location of the fare payment area at the front of our vehicles results in our operators being in very close proximity to passengers boarding the bus. This action will the help address the social distancing challenges faced by our drivers. In addition, while our fare collection equipment is disinfected daily, all passengers boarding the bus are currently touching either the farebox or the Clipper card reader.

Passengers without disabilities will be directed to use the rear door of the vehicle for boarding and alighting to minimize contact with transit operators at the front door and farebox area. People utilizing mobility devices will be allowed to board and alight from the front door of the vehicle.

As a reminder, the Alameda County Health Officer’s Shelter in Place order limits usage of public transportation to a specific set of “Essential Travel” mandates, which primarily permit travel only for the following reasons:

  • Performing tasks or activities essential to personal or family health and safety;
  • Obtaining necessary services and supplies, including perishable goods, food and medical supplies

For a full list of permissible “Essential Travel” categories, visit the Alameda County Public Health Department website at acphd.org and view the Health Officer’s Order. We will continue to monitor this situation on a daily basis and will take additional actions if warranted or recommended by local or national health organization. For updates, visit our “LAVTA Updates Related to Coronavirus” page at wheelsbus.com.