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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System will reduce bus and Trolley service beginning Monday, April 13.

The agency is reducing service by 25 percent to address the record-low ridership while still providing critical service for essential workers and trips.  

“Transit is an essential service and must remain accessible for essential workers and services. And especially for our transit dependent communities,” said MTS Board Chair Nathan Fletcher. “MTS has lost about 65 percent of ridership on buses and Trolleys since the Governor’s stay-at-home order. It seems counterintuitive, but this is actually a good thing. It means our community is working together to limit the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.”

No bus routes will be discontinued but about 70 percent of the routes will have reduced frequency.

Trolley service on the Orange and Green Lines will remain on a normal weekday schedule while midday service on the Blue Line will be reduced to every 15 minutes. Weekend service will continue as normal.

“We’ve been analyzing ridership for the past three weeks and it looks like it has stabilized at about 100,000 trips per day,” said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. “Our service analysis looked at a lot of factors including proximities to grocery stores, hospitals, government locations and we tried to focus on maintaining service these areas.”

Other changes MTS has made include a new rear-door boarding policy on all buses to increase the distance between passengers and bus operators. Seniors and people with physical disabilities are still allowed to board using the front.

Additionally, MTS will not accept cash payments on buses to further limit interactions with bus operators. While no cash payments are accepted, passengers are still required to purchase a fare either through the Compass Cloud mobile ticketing app or at a ticket vending machine.

On Trolleys, all fare inspections will be conducted on station platforms to limit interactions.