As students and employees return to schools and offices around the Bay Area, AC Transit announced an expansion to its services effective Aug. 8.
Services will continue to expand over the next 12 to 18 months, according to an AC Transit press release. The expansion plan follows significant changes to state and federal public health guidance, in addition to systemwide safety and health standards, the press release adds.
“AC Transit literally moved the Bay Area before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic carrying the third-largest ridership in the region, primarily low-income people of color,” said board president Elsa Ortiz in the press release.
Under the expansion, multiple bus lines, including school-specific lines, will see increased service beginning Aug. 9. In addition, bus lines traveling to different parts of the Bay Area will also increase the frequency of their trips.
Due to public health restrictions, certain lines were forced to reduce the frequency of trips, shorten service days or suspend service altogether.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, AC Transit has seen ridership slowly recover after a drastic drop. According to Ortiz, ridership fell from 190,000 weekday riders to roughly 44,000 riders each weekday overnight but has since grown to 70,500 weekday riders in July.
“We were slowed by the pandemic but never stopped rolling,” said general manager Michael Hursh in the press release. “We knew onboard daily were essential workers who needed safe and reliable connections to and from frontline jobs.”