As part of its efforts to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and comply with the L.A. County Department of Public Health’s and the city of Los Angeles’ “Safer at Home” emergency order limiting the public to essential travel only, Metro will increase its focus on ensuring the system remains available for those who need essential travel.
Under L.A. County’s “Safer at Home” order, travel is only allowed for essential activities, including work to essential jobs (and there are many jobs considered essential), visiting a doctor or vet, obtaining medical supplies or medication, grocery shopping for yourself or others, providing care for minors, seniors, dependents and persons with disabilities or other vulnerabilities, legally mandated government purposes and to comply with law enforcement or court orders.
Limiting travel to those who need to make essential trips only will make it easier to ensure social distancing at a time when L.A. County is desperately trying to curtail community spread and keep the number of COVID-19 cases from overwhelming local hospitals and our health-care system.
Metro will be joining the city of Los Angeles Department of Transportation in providing bus transportation to those who may need alternative aid, such as social service assessment, shelter or mental health services. The goal is to protect vulnerable and unhoused individuals and riders who are using Metro for essential travel only during the state’s and county’s safer-at-home orders.
Assessment will be conducted at major transit hubs and stations. This effort will also help keep buses and trains clean and help Metro protect its frontline operations staff, who have heroically kept our system running during this difficult time. Additionally, as this is essential travel only, Metro encourages those using the system to only bring aboard one personal item. That can include a purse, backpack or similar sized work utility.
In the work week of March 23-27, Metro provided at least 310,000 lifeline trips each day on its buses and trains, and numerous riders have reached out on social media to thank Metro and its frontline staff for continuing to operate during the pandemic.