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Face Coverings Required to Ride NCTD Buses and Trains Beginning May 1

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Oceanside, CA – To comply with the County of San Diego public health order related to COVID-19, the North County Transit District (NCTD) will require all passengers to wear face coverings while using the transit system beginning Friday, May 1, 2020. This requirement will be in effect for all passengers riding buses and trains, while on transit property, or in transit facilities.

The following rules will be in effect beginning May 1:

  • Face coverings must be worn at all times when riding transit and on transit property
  • Face coverings must cover the rider’s nose and mouth

“NCTD is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our customers, our employees, and the general public. We will continue to follow the direction of health organizations, including this newest order issued by the County of San Diego,” said Tony Kranz, NCTD Board Chair and Encinitas councilmember. “Each of us can contribute to the effort to keep all of us safe.”

NCTD is following the guidelines set forth by the County of San Diego which states: “Starting May 1, everyone must wear face coverings anywhere in public where they come within 6 feet of another person.” As described by the California Department of Public Health, “a cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen.” Passengers can visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for guidelines on making and using a homemade face covering.

To slow the spread of COVID-19, NCTD has enhanced its cleaning and disinfecting procedures on all vehicles and at stations. Additionally, strategies have been implemented to help with social distancing. Highlights include:


  • All NCTD buses, trains, and facilities are cleaned daily, with disinfectant applied to all hard surfaces that are commonly touched (seat backs, fare boxes, driver controls, all handrails, walls, and windows, door handles, and ticket vending machines)
  • Additional cleanings are done during BREEZE bus layovers at Oceanside Transit Center, Vista Transit Center, and Escondido Transit Center
  • The County of San Diego has installed handwashing stations at various transit centers throughout the system

Rear door boarding:  

  • Riders must enter and exit through the rear door of the bus
  • Senior and ADA passengers are allowed to enter and exit through the front door as normal

Social distancing:  

  • The distance separating passengers from the bus operator has been increased to six feet
  • Social distancing messages have been posted on all buses

Employee protection:  

  • Every frontline employee has been provided a reusable face mask
  • Operators are now allowed to do a visual inspection of fares to keep from touching cash or other personal items

NCTD continues to offer service on all modes. The COASTER service schedule has been modified temporarily due to COVID-19. Updated schedules can be accessed on the NCTD website. NCTD reminds passengers to only use public transit for essential trips, stay home if feeling sick, and to wear a face covering at all times. NCTD thanks its dedicated frontline employees for continuing to move essential workers to their destinations. They are truly the heroes of public transit.