METRO's Commitment to Safety

APTA Health and Safety Commitments Program Participating System The health and safety of our customers and employees is a priority for METRO. Since the beginning of the pandemic, METRO has worked tirelessly to keep riders and staff safe from infection from the coronavirus. METRO is actively working to instill confidence in riders by committing to protecting their health and safety.


To do this, METRO conducted a customer survey of our riders and identified four key areas to address to earn riders’ confidence:

  • Following public health guidelines from official sources such as CDC, State, and local guidance whenever possible
  • Cleaning and disinfecting transit vehicles frequently and requiring face coverings and other protections
  • Keeping passengers informed and providing resources to support safe travel
  • Putting health first by requiring riders and employees to avoid public transit if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel ill and installing additional safety measures


METRO has pledged to meet these commitments by enforcing specific policies that are effective for our system, our riders, and our community. A key component to the success of this mission is the shared responsibility of our system and our riders to follow the guidelines. Riders rely on us to follow these commitments, and METRO relies on riders to protect themselves and other customers.


METRO needs your help to protect you and other riders, to do so please adhere to the following rules when using METRO services.

  • Federal law requires wearing a mask while using public transportation and on premise of a transportation hub and failure to comply constitutes a violation of Federal law. The Order defines a mask as material covering the nose and mouth of the wearer and excludes face shields and bandanas. This means that face coverings are mandatory for all customers using METRO services including waiting at a bus stop, boarding the bus, and riding the bus (unless exempt, which an advanced accommodation will be required). View photo
  • Stay at home if sick or with COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath
  • Please adhere to all posted protocols while on the bus including no eating, drinking, smoking, or vaping while riding a bus
  • Do not sit in blocked seats; unless travelling with immediate family
  • Maintain physical separation with other passengers while waiting at a bus stop/terminal, boarding, and while riding a bus
  • For added safety, talking, singing, and yelling are discouraged while on the bus
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water or use hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands before and after riding a bus
  • Do not stand near the bus operator or in the restricted ADA securement area
  • Limit carry-on items. No personal items are allowed in the aisle, restricted areas, on the wheel well, or empty seats; and all carry-on items must be carried in one’s lap
  • Always exit through the rear door
  • Do not attempt to engage the bus operator in conversation and never dwell near the front of the bus when boarding


METRO is here to make sure you get to your destination as safely as possible, to do so we have implemented new safety measures

  • METRO’s bus passenger capacity has been reduced to 10 riders for 35’ bus and 15 riders for a 40’ bus plus 2 ADA seats
    • Per the Santa Clara County Public Health Order, Hwy 17 bus capacity is limited to 8 passengers plus 2 ADA seats
    • If a bus passes you by that either means the bus is at capacity and the driver will flash a sign saying "Sorry Bus Full" or signal you by hand that they are at capacity. The operator will then contact dispatch to send another bus.
  • Interior of bus showing plastic guards between seats
  • On April 25th, METRO started enforcing the new County Health Agency Order that all customers waiting at a bus stop, boarding a bus, and riding a bus must wear face coverings at all times. METRO is enforcing a "no mask – no ride" policy. This order was further mandated by the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Security Directive (SD) 1582/84-21-01: Security Measures- Face Mask Requirements, implemented January 21, 2021 which instructs persons that Federal law requires wearing a mask while using public transportation and on premise of a transportation hub and failure to comply constitutes a violation of Federal law. The Order defines a mask as a 2-ply material covering the nose and mouth of the wearer and excludes face shields and bandanas. View photo
  • Face shields have been issued to all bus operators, as secondary prevention when worn with a mask, for use when securing wheelchair passengers
  • Complimentary face coverings are available in buses, while supplies last
  • Posted COVID-19 prevention measure flyers in our buses and at our transit centers View photo
  • Operators have been trained on how to increase inside/outside air exchange rates and increase airflow in all of our buses
  • Some seats have been blocked off to allow separation of riders
  • Clear plastic sneeze barriers are in the process of being installed in between rows on all buses
  • Clear plastic curtains have been installed at the operator’s compartment on all fixed-route buses
  • Hired additional cleaning staff and have them stationed at all transit centers to clean high touch surfaces on each bus that goes through a METRO center
  • Bus operator wearing mask with plastic curtains available as a barrier between operator and passengers
  • METRO buses are cleaned and disinfected several times per day
  • Deployed new electrostatic disinfectant fogger that is used on each of our buses nightly View photo
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed inside each bus and at our Transit Centers View photo
  • Hand washing stations have been installed at Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and Scotts Valley Transit Centers
  • METRO has closed the Santa Cruz and Watsonville Transit Center lobbies and restrooms and have instead installed a customer service window at Santa Cruz Transit Center and Watsonville Transit Center that can be accessed from the outside of the building. Check our Customer Service webpage for days/hours of service as the window may be opened at reduced hours or closed.
  • Ticket vending machines (TVMs) have been moved from inside the facility to outside and are available 24-hours a day. View photo
  • Installed two Customer Service Calling Kiosks that provides customers with direct access to a Customer Service Representative to assist with planning a trip or to answer any questions. This allows the same great level of service while practicing social distancing. Available at Santa Cruz and Watsonville Transit Centers. View photo
  • METRO has added ground markers at transit centers denoting where to stand while lining up for a bus to assist with physical distancing
  • APTA Health and Safety Commitments Program Participating System
  • METRO also daily monitors all COVID-19 prevention information produced by the CDC, California Health Agency, and the Santa Cruz Health Agency along with industrywide transit best practices to stay up to date with prevention measures
  • METRO has joined the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) “Health and Safety Commitments Program,” the public transportation industry’s overarching pledge to passengers that public transit systems are taking all the necessary measures to operate safely as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Launched our new Splash Pass App, METRO’s new mobile ticketing app, allowing for contactless payment of fares. View more detail. View photo


METRO is spreading the word to our community about our added safety measures with a full fleet of advertisements on the sides of our buses through King, Queen, and Tail ad placements. This series of ads features three messages: Serious About Safety, Deliberately Disinfecting, and Seriously Sanitizing.


Serious about safety


Deliberately disinfection


Seriously sanitizing


For additional information on how METRO is fully committed to the health and safety of our customers and employees please review the below links:


METRO Joins the Pledge for APTA’s Health & Safety Commitments Program Press Release

METRO Safety Tips for Passengers, Pedestrians, and Cyclists

Please see our CEO’s fall note

Please see our note to customers on how METRO is keeping our customers and employees safe

View the latest schedules and safety articles in our Fall Headways Special Safety Edition

For answers to commonly asked questions on METRO services, policies, and safety measures visit our FAQ page

For more information on how METRO is keeping our employees and customers safe see our August BOD Presentation


No mask? No ride! ¿No mascarilla? ¡No viaje! Interior of bus showing safety signage Farebox with sanitizer dispenser at front of bus Service worker disinfecting with electrostatic fog Outside of transit center showing Ticket Vending Machine Have a question about METRO services? No problem. Showing mascot Miles with mask and headset Buy your ticket anywhere, anytime. Download the METRO Splash pass app now. For more information visit Face masks required. TSA requires proper wearing of face masks, per federal law. Face masks are to be worn at all times. Failure to comply will result in denial of boarding or removal, and may result in penalties.