VIA reducing service, extending free fares as ridership declines
‘Only essential trips’ should be made, agency says
SAN ANTONIO – VIA will move to a Saturday schedule for weekdays and extend fare relief amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Starting April 6, all bus routes during Monday-Friday will be on Saturday schedules, VIA said Monday. Weekend schedules will remain unchanged.
VIAtrans and VIA Link will continue to operate normally. For information on specific routes, check VIA’s website.
VIA will also extend the fare relief period through April 30. VIA implemented free rides on March 21 so riders and operators could avoid close contact.
“Only essential trips, outlined in the 'Stay Home, Work Safe’ order should be made during this time,” VIA said in a news release.
In an effort to promote social distancing, some seats on buses and vans may be removed or closed off. VIA previously said buses, seats and rails will be cleaned at a higher frequency.
Ridership has declined over the past several weeks, the agency said.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
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