Public Transit Agencies Begin to Restore Service and Fare Collection

As restrictions put into place due to COVID-19 begin to lift, many public transit agencies are taking steps to restore service and, in some cases, resume fare collection that had been temporarily suspended.

Restoring Service Across the U.S., agencies are responding to their states’ reopening plans by slowly restoring services in a safe and efficient way.

Port Authority of Allegheny County has restored several bus routes to regular weekday schedules as of May 18. Vehicle capacity limits will remain in place to encourage social distancing. “This plan of action will allow us to safely and responsibly resume regular service while continuing to make sure our riders and employees feel safe, comfortable and protected,” said CEO Katharine Eagan Kelleman.

Like many agencies, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) in St. Petersburg, FL, suspended service March 30 due to a lack of ridership brought on by beach, business and hotel closures. PSTA resumed service of the South Clearwater Beach Jolley Trolley as of May 15. Currently, All PSTA weekday services run on a Saturday schedule, with all weekend services running on a Sunday schedule. “Following the phased-in approach by state and county officials, PSTA is also being cautious on a return to full service,” said CEO Brad Miller. “The health and safety of our guests and staff is always paramount, and we will continue to monitor the situation and carefully evaluate our next steps before moving forward.”

Mountain Line (Missoula, MT) increased service on two of its bus routes May 11 to 15-minute frequencies (for the time being, COVID-19-adjusted hours are still in effect). “We have already begun to see an increase in ridership as Missoula reopens and we are monitoring capacity closely,” said Jennifer Sweten, director of operations. “Restoring 15-minute service on Routes 1 and 2 is in direct response to the need for more physical distancing space for riders along those routes.”

The opening of certain types of businesses and public spaces in Los Angeles County enabled Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) to begin plans for resuming regular local and commuter services. “As restrictions are lifted and businesses begin to re-open, AVTA’s return to regular service levels will help AV residents begin to return to normal routines,” stated AVTA Board Chairman Marvin Crist. “AVTA is dedicated to our riders’ and employees’ health and safety. Service schedules will return to normal with an eye on safety, ensuring AVTA provides the healthy transit experience our community relies upon.” Continue the full article here.

SOURCE: Passenger Transport