COVID: How a Rural Transit Authority Pivoted.

Where: California’s Monterey-Salinas Transit

What experience did the regional transit authority have that helped their COVID pivot? The agency’s  tabletop exercises concerning the best responses to natural disasters, civil disturbances or mass casualty events

How did Monterey-Salinas Transit do to pivot because of COVID?

  • Quickly required masks & distancing that limited occupancy with distance exceptions for families
  • Provided its drivers with masks, goggles and face shields
  • Stopped collecting fares and instituted rear door boarding to protect drivers
  • Reached out to stakeholders in its service zone
    • Stakeholders: agriculture and hospitality industries, military bases, community colleges, school districts and health-care providers
    • Bus drivers helped Meals on Wheels in Salinas Valley 
    • Parked its Wi-Fi-enabled commuter buses in rural areas to provide hot spots for rural students
    • Donated a vehicle it no longer needed to a veterans group who used it to take homeless veterans to food, medical services and shelter
    • Provided 2 buses to be converted into mobile COVID-19 testing facilities for agricultural workers
  • Constant Recalibration with a comment enabled app, the Slido app

What surprised the agency and will impact future planning?

  • COVID has no clear END, unlike a natural disaster, and that impacts resources & planning
  • The rush on cleaning supplies and that impact on suppliers

Governing | Rural California Transit Agency Reinvents Itself During COVID