The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority's Metro bus routes will resume their usual schedules June 28, officials announced.
Most Metro buses were running on a reduced, Saturday schedule as of March 29 due to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's stay at home order. That caused consternation from some transit advocates.
SORTA took some precautions to protect drivers — including plastic shields — and briefly went fare-free before the City of Cincinnati asked Metro to end that practice. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley expressed concerns that fareless service was encouraging people to take non-essential trips and ride the buses to public gatherings in violation of DeWine's orders.
Now, however, the bus service will return to its usual operating schedules.
Metro says it is working to make sure its services don't speed the transmission of COVID-19 by doing the following:
- Conducting rigorous daily cleaning of all buses.
- Applying a chlorinated, sanitizing disinfectant that kills the coronavirus to all buses and surfaces inside buses and facilities, including poles, stanchions and seats and facilities, including Government Square.
- Using an electrostatic sprayer which promotes surface adhesion of the disinfectant.
- Installing Plexiglas barriers onboard all buses as an added layer of protection between customers and operators at the farebox.
Metro is asking its riders to help prevent transmission of the coronavirus by:
- Paying fare using Transit App with EZFare for contactless payment.
- Wearing a mask, scarf or other facial covering if possible while riding.
- Standing behind the Plexiglas barrier at the farebox.
- Spreading out as much as possible onboard.
- Observing CDC safety guidelines including using hand sanitizer, washing hands regularly and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue.