Returning to Transit? Here’s What You Need to Know

May 29, 2020

Slowly, our communities are starting to reopen. For some, this means returning to the office or life outside of our homes. You’re probably feeling excited but also a bit nervous – we know we are.

Many riders haven’t set foot on a bus or train since early March. While you’ve been away, we’ve made some changes to how you ride.

We made these changes with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. While we all still must be mindful on transit, as in all public places, these changes will help you get where you need to go – safely.

If you’re ready to ride again, we’re here for you. And if you’re not, we’ll be ready for you when you are.


Here’s what you need to know when you return

Face coverings are required

Everyone must wear a face covering on board buses and trains unless a medical condition prevents you from doing so. (Children under the age of 2 should not wear face coverings.) Disposable face coverings are available on board, although most riders will probably want to use their own if they have one.

We also strongly recommend riders use face coverings at rail stations, transit centers and busy bus stops. TriMet employees, vendors and contractors are also required to wear face coverings on our transit system when they can’t stay more than 6 feet from other people.

The main purpose of face coverings is to protect other people in case you’re sick but don’t realize it, so please be sure to wear them for everyone else on board.

Reduced service

Many buses and trains are running less frequently than they did before. This change is temporary and it helps us respond to the lower ridership of the past few months. Give yourself extra time and visit to plan your trip, as schedules have changed.

 Update, August 2020: Service has been restored on many lines


Social distancing

As of June 25, 2021, we are no longer reducing capacity on board due to updated guidance from Oregon Health Authority.

Hand sanitizer

We’ve installing hand sanitizer dispensers on all of our buses and many trains. Please make sure your hands are clean by frequently washing them with soap and water, when you can, for at least 20 seconds, or by using hand sanitizer when soap and water isn’t available.

Our commitments to you

Safety is a value that cannot be compromised. Here’s how our practices have changed in response to COVID-19.

Cleaning and sanitation

All buses that have been in service are cleaned with a hydrogen peroxide-based fog that disinfects every surface, including hard-to-reach spots.

Frequently touched surfaces on buses and trains are wiped down with disinfectant through out the day. Our aim is to clean buses and trains about every four hours.

We’ve expanded our nightly bus cleaning to include the disinfecting of all frequently touched surfaces.

Cleaners are disinfecting surfaces and frequently touches places on MAX trains nightly, and we have stationed cleaning teams along all five MAX lines, to wipe down surfaces on some trains during the day.

We are disinfecting surfaces daily at MAX stations and transit centers, including ticket vending machines, Hop readers, pay phones, railings and benches.

More cleaning staff

We hired 30 additional service workers to help elevate our cleaning. We are also bringing on more than 100 new full-time cleaners in the weeks and months to come, to support continued cleaning efforts.

Update, July 2020: We’ve now hired well over 100 people to help us keep our system clean and safe. Thank you to all who applied for the openings!


Vehicle quarantine

If there is a concern that someone who may have COVID-19 has been on board a bus or train, the vehicle is removed from service and thoroughly disinfected.

Let’s protect one another

We need your help to maintain a clean and safe system. Please follow the following safety advice recommended by the Oregon Health Authority:


  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Wear a face covering
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or shoulder
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face with unclean hands
  • Minimize unnecessary travel

We’re here for you

Have questions about riding transit? Our customer service team here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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