Guidance for Transit Agencies - COVID-19 Pandemic Response

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


April 6, 2020

Guidance for Transit Agencies

COVID-19 Pandemic Response

We are aware that transit systems are working very diligently to maintain service for your communities while, at the same time, ensuring the safety of your employees and customers.  This is a very delicate balance.

In addition to the guidance issued on Monday, March 30, we want to provide additional clarification for situations in which systems may be considering full shutdowns of their transit operations:

  • Public transportation is an essential service – providing vital connections for essential workers and access to basic lifeline services, including healthcare, grocery stores, and food pantries.
  • It is our expectation that all transit systems will maintain at least a minimum level of service, even during the “stay at home” order, in order to meet these basic community needs.
  • Agencies should prioritize routes that serve medical facilities, employment centers that are critical to the supply chain, access to core needs (e.g., grocery stores, food banks, and schools or other places where meals are provided), and lifeline services for the most vulnerable populations.
  • To the extent possible, transit agencies should provide advance notice of major service interruptions so system users can make other travel arrangements to meet essential travel needs.
  • All Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) grantees should follow the direction of local and state public health and law enforcement agencies. This local and state information generally is coordinated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security and is the most accurate assessment of the situation locally.
  • In the event of an immediate public safety threat, DRPT expectations regarding the maintenance of minimum service levels and the provision of adequate public notice would not apply.
  • If a transit system is considering a full shutdown, please contact your DRPT Transit Program Manager prior to taking any such action. Transit agencies should also contact the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) before suspending operations.

Additional resources:

Guidance for Transit Agencies – Issued March 30

FTA Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019

Department of Homeland Security – Essential Critical Infrastructure