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Metro Transit trims schedule as ridership drops amid virus fears

Metro Transit trims schedule as ridership drops amid virus fears

Public transportation in the St. Louis region will run on a modified schedule starting Monday to minimize the spread of the new coronavirus.

Metro Transit announced the changes Friday, which include decreasing the frequency of rides and shortening the service day on some routes. MetroLink will operate its normal weekend schedule seven days a week, and MetroBus routes will run on their Saturday schedules, with a couple of exceptions: Routes that do not usually operate on Saturdays will use their normal weekday schedule all seven days; and service on most Express MetroBus routes in Missouri is temporarily suspended.

Additional buses will be added to routes if needed to ensure there is enough room for all riders, the transportation agency said in a press release. Metro Call-A-Ride will have no changes to its hours or service area.

Transit system ridership has dropped 40% since the area has been affected by COVID-19, Bi-State Development CEO Taulby Roach said in a statement. "With fewer riders on the trains and buses, we can maintain safe social distancing on transit."

The changes will allow for increased cleaning of Metro vehicles, the transportation agency said.

Other measures are also being implemented to try to stem the spread of the virus. Lines will be added to the floor of buses and trains to keep riders at a safe distance from passengers, and MetroBus riders will board and exit from rear doors. All Bi-State and Metro Transit employees will have their temperature screened when they report to work.

For more information on the changes, go to metrostlouis.org or call 314-231-2345.

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