Metro adjusts bus service to promote social distancing

Alex Wigglesworth
A bus motors down 3rd Street in downtown Los Angeles. As of Sunday, social distancing measures are in place on MTA's buses.  (Los Angeles Times)

A number of changes to Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus service took effect Sunday as the agency sought to promote social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Metro added trips to 95 bus lines and increased the frequency of stops on some heavily-used lines, the agency said in a news release. It is also adjusting running times based on faster speeds due to reduced traffic. Larger, 60-foot articulated buses will continue to be employed on some lines “to the extent possible,” the agency said.

Other bus lines will continue to run on an enhanced Sunday schedule. A full list is available on Metro's website.

The changes are meant to help riders observe social distancing rules by adding capacity to buses.

The transit agency has already taken a number of other steps, including requiring face coverings for all riders, stepping up cleanings and having bus passengers board through rear doors only. It’s also required bus operators to be isolated by a transparent protective barrier.

The agency had reported 109 cases of the coronavirus among its employees, contractors and vendors as of Friday, according to its webpage tracking cases of the virus. Two people — a bus driver and a security guard who was a contractor for Metro — have died.