With social distancing guidelines such as passengers entering from the back door unless they require ADA accommodations, a limit of 10 passengers per bus, overflow buses on standby if needed, and no collection of fares until further notice to minimize driver-passenger contact, the City of Cedar Rapids says it will resume public transit service, effective Monday, May 18.

The slow re-opening, in general, appears to be something the public transit system is taking seriously as well.

Riders will be required, on the honor system, to only use buses for essential trips, such as to and from work, grocery shopping or medical appointments, according to Iowa's News Now. Bus service will be from 5:15 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Monday-Friday. This means no weekend service at this time, even on Saturday. All routes will arrive at and depart from the Ground Transportation Center on an hourly basis, except Route 5, which will operate on 15-minute intervals.

Passengers will also be required to wear a face covering. Multiple daily rounds of thorough deep cleanings and sanitizing of buses will continue to be performed for the protection of riders and drivers.

Bus service was suspended back on March 26th, and for a couple of weeks prior to that the above measures were in place. At that time, City Manager Jeff Pomerantz said, "suspending a service like transit is a difficult decision but it’s one we must make to help prevent a possible spike in the number of cases that could overwhelm medical facilities".

Horizons Neighborhood Transportation Service (NTS)  remains available for passengers, but only on a 24-hour call-ahead basis at (319) 363-1321 and on their website.

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