Beginning Monday, August 17, Laketran’s local bus route, Route 1, will operate every 40 minutes instead of 60 minutes on weekdays. Laketran is adding a third bus to the route so customers can properly distance while onboard to provide a safer space for everyone travelling.
Since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Laketran has been monitoring ridership levels and putting procedures in place to encourage social distancing onboard the 35-foot buses operating their local fixed routes.
“Last month, as ridership began to rebound after the Stay at Home order, Laketran implemented limited seating to maintain six feet between passengers and our driver,” shared Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “But now the limited seating is creating crowds of standees onboard on Route 1.”
“Our ridership always increases in September and October, compared to summer months, with people working more regularly and college resuming, so we want to make sure people can continually social distance while onboard,” Capelle continued.
The additional bus will provide customers with 14 additional departures throughout the day spreading out times when passengers can board the bus.
Laketran also implemented rear door boarding to distance passengers from the bus driver and suspended fare collections through September 30. During the fare suspension, Laketran is installing validators onboard their buses that validate mobile fare payment through their fare payment app, EZfare.
“We’re trying to encourage less interaction with high touch points on the bus, like a fare box. Once we reinstate fares, we’ll encourage everyone to use our app so you can simply activate your fare on your phone and validate it as you board, similar to a mobile boarding pass for airline transportation,” explained Capelle. “We realize not everyone has smartphones, but we hope those who do will use the EZfare app.”
Laketran is also building safety barriers between the bus driver and customers to provide an additional level of protection and has installed onboard PPE stations with masks and hand sanitizer for customers.