CTA Buses To Launch Rear-Door Boarding Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Bernie Tafoya
April 09, 2020 - 11:03 am
CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Chicago Transit Authority plans to change its bus-boarding procedures to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to passengers or bus drivers. 
The Chicago Transit Authority announced Thursday new rear-door boarding and operational changes for buses beginning Thursday, April 9.
Designed to promote physical distancing between riders and bus drivers, the CTA plans to direct passengers to board and exit buses from the rear doors now. The Mayor's office said having CTA passengers enter buses through the rear doors will keep passengers and bus drivers safely apart.
The CTA is also launching a bus crowd management policy, giving bus drivers the authority to run as "drop-off only" and bypass certain bus stops if their bus is becoming too crowded. Drivers will only use this if regular size (40-foot) buses have 15 or more passengers or articulated (60-foot) buses have 22 or more. 
The Mayor's office said the new procedure will better protect the first responders, CTA workers, and essential workers who use mass transit, as well as people on the South and West sides, who more rely on the CTA. 
The head of the bus drivers union tells Streets Blog Chicago, he believes the CTA had not gone to rear boarding before because it was more concerned about collecting fares.