DETROIT – SMART bus officials say that 80% of ridership has dropped over the past view weeks because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and that’s why you can expect to see a few major changes in the SMART transit system until we ride out the pandemic.
“We’re going to cut the service tomorrow (Tuesday)," Deputy General Manager Robert Cramer said. “It’ll be 70% of what our service used to be on a typical weekday.”
Cramer says it’s crucial these changes are made to ensure the safety of not just the passengers, but also the drivers -- those on the front lines during this pandemic.
“We’re basing this on not only the safety and the rest of our staff but also responding to ridership," Cramer said. “If there’s something else that comes along, that’s really the cues that we’re gonna be looking for.”
Service reductions include:
- Frequency of service is hourly based off of Sunday service with the addition of commuter routes
- Woodward, Gratiot, and Michigan, FAST and local routes will alternate every 30 minutes.
- Commuter and Park & Ride Routes will operate only one trip into downtown in the morning and only one trip out of downtown in the afternoon
- SMART shuttles and Dial-A-Ride service will not operate
- Hours of operation will be consistent with the length of weekday service hours
“Even though buses will be coming a lot less frequently, they’re still going to be out on the road any time of day that you would be able to catch them as far as early in the morning and late at night -- because we know that that connects a lot of these people to some of these important jobs,” Cramer said.