Public transportation

Updated May 4, 2022

Available languages: Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文 | Soomaali | العربية | नेपाली 

Bus passenger with surgical mask

Agencies or individuals providing public transportation, including rideshares and taxis, should use these best practices to protect themselves, passengers, and employees from COVID-19.

For employees and drivers

  • Educate employees on COVID-19 vaccination, how to protect themselves at work and at home, and who is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Post signs reminding employees to avoid touching their eyes, noses, and mouths and to practice proper sneezing and cough etiquette. [English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Somali].
  • Have ample supply of hand sanitizer for passengers.
  • Prioritize providing appropriate gloves, masks, face shields, and other personal protective equipment to employees to the extent possible. 
  • Consider keeping a record of riders in case there is a COVID-19 exposure and other passengers need to be notified.
  • When possible, open windows -- one on each side of the vehicle -- to maximize ventilation. 

Sick or exposed employees

  • Transportation providers who are sick should stay home and notify their supervisor, if applicable. Those who have COVID-19 symptoms should follow the directions for isolation, get tested, and seek medical attention if needed.
  • Employees who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home, self-quarantine, and monitor themselves for symptoms. Employees who think or know they have been exposed should get tested as soon as possible if they develop symptoms. Employees who don’t have symptoms should wait 5 days from when they think they were exposed to get tested. 
  • Employers should consider screening employees, including taking their temperatures, when they report to work. Ask them if they have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with anyone exhibiting these symptoms. If they have symptoms, send them home, advise them to get tested, and follow the directions for isolation. If they may have been exposed and are not up to date on recommended COVID-19 vaccines, send them home and advise them to follow the directions for quarantine. Employees who are up to date on recommended COVID-19 vaccines do not need to quarantine, but should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days after they think they were exposed. Be sure to maintain employee confidentiality at all times.
  • Employees who are sick or symptomatic may be eligible to return to work when:*
    • At least 24 hours have passed since fever has resolved without fever-reducing medications,
    • At least 5 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and
    • COVID-19 symptoms have improved. They should continue wearing a mask around others for a total of 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

For passengers

  • Mask-wearing is recommended for all riders aged 2 years and older.
  • Avoid public transit if you are sick, positive for COVID-19, or think or know you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines
  • Opt in to Exposure Notifications to be alerted more quickly if you are exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Follow guidance from operators. They are critical workers who should be regarded with utmost concern for their health and safety during this challenging time.

Cleaning and disinfection

The most common way COVID-19 spreads is through respiratory droplets during close contact with someone who already is infected. It also may be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes. Frequently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces is a best practice for preventing COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. 

  • Cleaning means removing germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Cleaning is typically performed using soap, detergents, cleansers, and water.
  • Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, disinfecting can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting is typically performed using approved commercial or household disinfecting solutions.
To clean and disinfect public transportation vehicles:
  • Refer to CDPHE’s Environmental Cleaning Guidance for COVID-19.
  • Wear chemical (for example, nitrile) gloves when cleaning and disinfecting. 
  • Clean and disinfect vehicles and equipment surfaces before operation and at the end of shift, or more frequently if passengers appear to be sick.
  • Use an approved disinfectant after cleaning.
  • Clean and disinfect all commonly touched surfaces used to access and control the vehicle, including:
    • Door handles and grab bars;
    • Interior door handles and surrounding surfaces;
    • Steering wheel, center console, and radio microphone;
    • Fare boxes;
    • Instrument panels, gear shifts, and control knobs and devices;
    • Keys, keybobs, and fuel cards;
    • Seat belts and buckles; and
    • All other devices used during your shift.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water after cleaning for a minimum of 20 seconds.