Is it safe to ride public transit during the pandemic?

Posted at 9:26 PM, Aug 11, 2020

Is it safe to ride public transit during the coronavirus pandemic? It depends on a variety of factors, but there are ways to minimize risk.

Experts say the main way the virus spreads is through droplets people spray when they talk, cough or sneeze, so the best way to reduce the spread of infection on public transit and elsewhere is to wear a mask and stay 6 feet from others. Surfaces are believed to pose a risk to a lesser degree, and transit systems are employing a variety of cleaning techniques.

It's still best to avoid touching surfaces if possible.

The CDC has issued guidance for using public transportation amid the pandemic.

"Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Your chances of getting COVID-19 while traveling also depend on whether you and those around you take steps to protect yourself and others, such as wearing masks and staying 6 feet away from people outside your household (social distancing)," the CDC said. "Airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces. These are also places where it can be hard to social distance. In general, the longer you are around a person with COVID-19, the more likely you are to get infected."