ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Aug. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Passengers on Orange County's OC Bus system can now see in real-time from the convenience of their mobile device whether their bus has enough available seats for them to ride, another important safety measure during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Orange County Transportation Authority this week launched this innovative real-time occupancy data feature in partnership with the Transit app. OCTA is one of 38 agencies worldwide offering bus capacity information via the Transit app.
OC Bus riders can download the free Transit app to help plan their bus trip, to see where their bus is currently running on the route, and – for the first time – receive information on how full the bus is.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, OCTA is limiting the number of passengers on buses to allow for physical distancing of at least six feet, when possible. The guideline is for a regular 40-foot bus to carry no more than 15 passengers, and a 60-foot bus up to 20 passengers.
With the Transit app, those waiting for a bus can get information showing that a particular bus has "many seats" (less than one-third full), "some seats" (less than two-thirds full), or "very limited seats" (more than two-thirds full), as the bus approaches their location.
"The health of our passengers and employees has always been our priority and the addition of information about bus capacity gives our OC Bus riders another important tool to help them travel intelligently and safely, especially during these difficult times," said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove, Calif.
OCTA's automated passenger counting system, the tool to track ridership numbers throughout the bus system, is used to communicate current capacity information through the Transit app.
"This pandemic is a devastating public health crisis that has been a catalyst for OCTA to examine all of our operations closely from a health and safety perspective," said OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson. "Exploring and implementing technology solutions is one more way to improve the travel experience for essential workers and others who depend upon transit."