People waiting at the Washington/Central Ave station

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is trying to stay safe and healthy. Valley Metro is ensuring our operators are in a safe environment while we face the impact of COVID-19. That’s why we are only allowing people to board at  the rear door of the bus. We have also blocked off the rows of seats in the front of buses and the lead car near the operator on light rail trains.  

For our riders, we are advising they practice “social distancing.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals social distancing should be at least six feet apart from one another. However, it can be hard to eyeball if you’re actually six feet apart. So, I went out with a tape measure to figure out exactly how far you should be from strangers when using Valley Metro bus or light rail.

There is an easy way to distance yourself at the light rail station. Each platform has a white rumble strip along the edge of the track where you need to stand behind for safety. Each strip is made up of squares approximately two feet long. So, if you stand three squares away from others you will be practicing proper social distancing.

White rumble strip near light rail tracks

If you are sitting at the station I’d recommend not sitting on the same bench as someone you don’t know. If that’s not possible, you should have at least two seats in between you and a stranger.

Once on board, I recommend sitting as far from others as possible. If you feel the train is too crowded, try moving to a different car when the train makes a stop. 

Not all bus shelters are created equal. It can be hard to determine exactly how far you should be from another rider, but in general, I found that you should be at least half a bus shelter’s length away when waiting for your bus.

From what I saw on buses, each small row of seats is about two feet, so try to sit about 3 rows away from another person if possible. For long horizonal rows of seats, you should sit at least four seats away. 

As a reminder, please only leave your home for necessary travel like grocery shopping or commuting to an essential job. Valley Metro staff members are working around the clock to make sure your ride is safe and healthy in these everchanging times. For the latest information about our response to COVID-19, visit

Peter Corkery
Peter Corkery
Rail Operations Communications Specialist
When not helping customers at Valley Metro, Peter enjoys reading, running and hiking around the valley.