MADISON COUNTY — A 37 percent ridership decline on Madison County Transit buses since last week has spurred the agency to announce plans to cut service.
Beginning Sunday, all MCT fixed routes will operate each day on a modified Saturday service level, the agency said in a news release Tuesday. The changes are the result of the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
The agency also will temporarily discontinue all MCT express bus service to downtown St. Louis, which has had a 58 percent ridership drop this month compared to March of last year.
But the #13 Troy-Glen Carbon route, which doesn't run on Saturdays, will operate on its regular weekday schedule. So will the #20X Gateway Commerce Center Express.
Meanwhile, to keep the entire driver contingent employed, some drivers will be assigned instead to clean buses mid-route as passengers get on and off.
Last week, the agency's board announced it was temporarily suspending all fares on buses and paratransit vans to eliminate the passing of cash, transfers and tickets from one person to another.
S.J. Morrison, the agency's director, said "continuing to maintain Saturday-level service will provide transportation throughout the day for those who need it the most."
Metro Transit — which operates in St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Clair County — reduced bus and MetroLink service on Monday. MetroLink is running its weekend schedule every day and buses are operating on Saturday schedules.
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