Protect Yourself When Using Transportation

Public transit, rideshares and taxis, micro-mobility devices, and personal vehicles

As schools, businesses, and community organizations begin providing services, consider ways that you can protect yourself and slow the spread of COVID-19 when using transportation. When you consider the following options, think about what is feasible, practical, and acceptable to you and meets your needs. See CDC’s tips for how to stay safe while running errands.

This page includes information on using transportation in your local community to accomplish everyday activities. Find information about traveling outside of your local community (air travel, RV travel, etc.) here.

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For all types of transportation

When using any type of transportation, follow these general principles:

Practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

  • Before you leave, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Once you reach your destination, wash your hands again with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible upon arrival.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Practice social distancing.

  • During travel, try to keep at least 6 feet (2 meters) from people who are not in your household — for example, when you are waiting at a bus station or selecting seats on a train.

Wear cloth face coverings.

  • Wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing is difficult.
    • Note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on:
      • Babies and children younger than 2 years old
      • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
      • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance
  • Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.

Stay home when appropriate.

  • People who are sick or have recently had a close contact (closer than 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) to a person with COVID-19 should not use public transportation and should stay home except to seek medical care.

Have adequate supplies.

  • Before traveling, pack sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (in case you are unable to wash your hands at your destination). Bring your cloth face covering to wear at times when physical distancing is difficult—for example, while riding on a train or bus, waiting at a rest stop, or riding in a car with people outside your household.

Protect people at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

  • Individuals who have an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should limit their travel.
  • If you need special accommodations or assistance while traveling (for example, help with a wheelchair lift or with carrying bags), if possible, take a transportation “buddy” with you (preferably from your household) to help you during travel.
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Public transit

Follow the general principles listed above, plus the following. . . . .

Stay up-to-date.

  • Check with local transit authorities for the latest information on changes to services and procedures, especially if you might need additional assistance.

Avoid touching surfaces.

  • Limit touching frequently touched surfaces such as kiosks, digital interfaces such as touchscreens and fingerprint scanners, ticket machines, turnstiles, handrails, restroom surfaces, elevator buttons, and benches as much as possible.
    • If you must touch these surfaces, as soon as you can, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or rub your hands with sanitizer containing 60% alcohol.
  • Use touchless payment and no-touch trash cans and doors when available. Exchange cash or credit cards by placing them in a receipt tray or on the counter rather than by hand, if possible.

Practice social distancing.

  • When possible, consider traveling during non-peak hours when there are likely to be fewer people.
  • Follow social distancing guidelines by staying at least 6 feet (2 meters) from people who are not from your household. For example:
    • Avoid gathering in groups, and stay out of crowded spaces when possible, especially at transit stations and stops.
    • Consider skipping a row of seats between yourself and other riders if possible.
    • Enter and exit buses through rear entry doors if possible.
    • Look for social distancing instructions or physical guides offered by transit authorities (for example, floor decals or signs indicating where to stand or sit to remain at least 6 feet apart from others).

Practice hand hygiene.

  • After you leave the transit station or stop, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • When you arrive at your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
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Rideshare, taxi, limo for-hire vehicle passengers

Follow the general principles listed above, plus the following. . .

Avoid touching surfaces.

  • Avoid contact with surfaces frequently touched by passengers or drivers, such as the door frame and handles, windows, and other vehicle parts. In circumstances where such contact is unavoidable, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible afterwards.
  • Avoid accepting offers of free water bottles and avoid touching magazines or other items that may be provided for free to passengers.
  • Use touchless payment when available.

Practice social distancing.

  • Limit the number of passengers in the vehicle to only those necessary.
  • Avoid pooled rides or rides where multiple passengers are picked up who are not in the same household.
  • Sit in the back seat in larger vehicles such as vans and buses so you can remain at least six feet away from the driver.

Improve ventilation.

  • Ask the driver to improve the ventilation in the vehicle if possible — for example, by opening the windows or setting the air ventilation/air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.

Practice hand hygiene.

  • After leaving the vehicle, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • When you arrive at your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
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Shared bikes, scooters, skateboards, and other micro-mobility devices

Follow the general principles listed above, plus the following. . .

Clean and disinfect surfaces.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on the device (e.g., handlebars, gears, braking handles, locks etc.) or shared equipment before you use it. Use disinfecting wipes, if available.

Avoid touching surfaces.

  • Use touchless payment when available and if applicable.

Practice hand hygiene.

  • After completing your trip, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
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Personal vehicles

Follow the general principles listed above, plus the following. . .

Clean and disinfect surfaces.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly (for example, the steering wheel, gear shift, door frame/handles, windows, radio/temperature dials, and seatbelt buckles).
  • When using parking meters and pay stations, consider using alcohol wipes to disinfect surfaces or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol after use. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as it is possible.

Practice social distancing.

  • Consider limiting the number of passengers in the vehicle to only those necessary (for example, choose one or two family members who are not at higher risk for severe illness to run the essential errands).

Improve ventilation.

  • Improve the ventilation in the vehicle if possible (for example, open the windows or set the air ventilation/air conditioning on non-recirculation mode).
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People with transportation-related jobs

If transportation is part of your job, see these additional resources on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 at work.