Philomath Connection bus
The Philomath Connection bus service is currently free. Face coverings are now required for all passengers ages 5 and older. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Philomath Connection and Corvallis Transit System bus passengers ages 5 and older are required to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth, an updated rule that went into effect Dec. 9. Those who don’t have a mask can get one from the driver.

Philomath Connection rides continue to be free with fares waived. Service on the Philomath bus will continue to operate on its regular schedule.

A governor’s executive order dated Dec. 4 no longer allows any exemptions for passengers riding the bus without a face covering on. Face coverings should fit snugly against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, and have multiple layers of cloth.

Persons who have a disability which prevents them from wearing a face covering, may contact 541-766-6318 to inquire about applying for alternative transportation services.

The Oregon Health Authority will allow passengers to stay 3 feet away from each other on board buses since everyone will be wearing face coverings. As such, buses will now transport up to 14 passengers at any given time, plus up to two individuals using a mobility device. Buses will mark which seats cannot be used.

Seating will be limited so travel should be made only for essential trips.

Other bus-riding guidelines in place include:

• Board and exit the bus using the back door unless you are physically unable to do so.

• Unless you are in a mobility device that requires securement, no sitting or standing in the wheelchair securement area.

• Continue to help stop the spread of germs by avoiding close contact with other people, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.