VRT/COVID-19 information page
Beginning June 24, Valley Regional Transit (VRT) suspended fares, closed Main Street Station, mandated that riders and bus operators wear masks, and implemented other service changes in response to Ada County moving back to Stage 3 of the Idaho Rebounds: Our Path to Prosperity plan.
The decision by the Central District Health to move back from Stage 4 is in response to a spike in COVID-19 coronavirus cases in the county.
Here are the service changes:
- Fares are suspended for ValleyRide fixed-route and ACCESS paratransit services.
- Main Street Station in downtown Boise is closed to the public. Routes 1, 3, 4 and 5 will stage on 9th Street just south of Main Street. Routes 2, 16 and 17 will stage in front of Main Street Station. Routes 6, 7A, 7B, 8X, 9, 10, 11, 40, 43 will stage on Main Street
- Public access to the VRT building in Meridian will be limited to the Help Desk lobby.
- The Happy Day Transit Center in Caldwell will remain open.
- No standing is allowed on ValleyRide buses. All passengers must be seated.
- Riders are required to wear a face covering when riding the bus and when inside a Valley Regional Transit facility. If you do not have a mask, please ask the driver for one.
- Bus operators are required to wear face coverings.
VRT continues to remain strong in its commitment to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus while providing essential transportation services:
- The public is urged not to use public transportation if they are sick.
- Riders are asked to sit as far apart from other riders as possible.
- Staff will continue to wipe down the inside of the buses between trips when possible
- Every in-service bus is cleaned and disinfected every night. Cleaning crews are paying special attention to frequently touched areas, like handrails and seat backs and utilizing foggers to treat the insides of the buses.
ValleyRide operations staff have been disinfecting the buses daily and between runs.
- Bus operators and operations staff are wiping down the inside of the buses between trips when possible.
- Every bus in service is cleaned and disinfected every night. Cleaning crews are paying special attention to frequently touched areas, like handrails and seat backs. We are utilizing foggers to treat the insides of the buses.
- Bus operators are educating the public on the proper way to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- One of the best tactics to fight the coronavirus is practicing social distancing, or remaining at least six feet away from others. Once inside the bus, passengers are being asked to sit as far away from other passengers as possible and wear face coverings. If there are too many people on a bus to ensure adequate social distancing spacing, additional buses could be brought into service.
- VRT has placed posters in the buses with information on how riders can reduce the risk of spreading disease through covering their coughs, using face coverings, and frequently washing their hands.
- VRT staff will stay home if they feel ill.
Stephen Hunt, principal planner for VRT, said the delay in implementing the service improvements is in response to the actions of local and national leaders to limiting public gatherings and avoiding unnecessary travel and public contact to slow the spread of COVID-19 virus.
“It is a prudent decision at this time not to implement and promote the service improvements during the COVID-19 crisis,” Hunt explained. “We are excited about providing these service improvements to our riders, and they will be implemented as soon as we are told it is safe to encourage travel again.”
The planned service improvements will include new service to the city of Eagle; later weekday service on the Route 2 Broadway; later Saturday service on four Saturday bus routes in Boise; and timing changes on all routes designed to improve on-time performance. More information about the service changes can be found at:
Last update: July 13, 2020.