Although ridership on public transit has waned since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ventura County Transportation Commission continues to bring essential workers from Ventura to Santa Barbara.
Ridership is down 67% for the Coastal Express routes 80-89 northbound to Santa Barbara, according to Darrin Peschka, a VCTC spokesperson in government and community relations.
“One of the things we see is the nature of the riders on the Coastal Express. Many of them are essential workers in Santa Barbara, so they’re still using public transit,” Ms. Peschka told the News-Press. “The best way to attract ridership is to give people peace of mind so that they feel safe riding public transit.”
She said the VCTC has taken a number of steps to do this, including: requiring that masks be worn and providing masks if a passenger does not have one; limiting the number of passengers on vehicles for social distancing; increasing the cleaning and disinfecting of vehicles; waiving fares to limit points of contact between passengers and drivers; and having drivers disembark the vehicle as passengers board to limit contact.
Ms. Peschka said these steps ensure riders have that peace of mind using Coastal Express and all other routes of VCTC.
To learn more about VCTC’s response to COVID-19, visit goventura.org or call 1-800-438-1112.