The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) launched an innovative real-time occupancy data feature in partnership with the Transit app so riders can determine from their mobile device whether their bus has enough available seats for them to ride. 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.
OCTA’s automated passenger counting (APC) system, for years the tool to track ridership numbers throughout the bus system, is being used to communicate current capacity information through the Transit app.
The addition of real-time capacity data is the latest safety measure OCTA is taking during the ongoing public health crisis. Other measures have included, enhanced bus cleanings, temporary rear-door boardings, onboard hand sanitizers, requiring passengers to wear face coverings, and a pilot program that has helped distribute thousands of free face coverings to riders who need them.