The SMART Bus service is making some changes as it faces service delays due to coronavirus.
“What we’ve experienced over the last couple of weeks is a huge surge in the number of our staff that have been impacted by the omicron variant of COVID,” SMART deputy general manager Robert Cramer said.
SMART is down more than 80 bus operators. This has led to cancellations and delays for around 25% of the SMART Bus service daily.
“They’re kind of playing the game of a giant puzzle every morning trying to get drivers slotted into as much service as we can because we know there are people that are relying on us to get to important jobs, appointments and to live their lives. Everyday we’ve been doing everything we can to get as much services on the road as possible,” Cramer said.
That includes keeping its real-time arrival app updated. SMART Bus is also asking for riders to be patient and to say home if they’re feeling sick.
They’ve also asked riders to wear a mask the entire duration of their trip and to not do anything on board that would require them to remove their mask, like eating or drinking. They hope that will help keep their drivers safer at a time where they’re already short staffed.
“We have about 80 open driver positions right now so we’ve already had to keep our service at a slightly lower level than it was before COVID and so to have this spike on top of that has really been a big challenge for us,” Cramer said.
SMART Bus is also asking for riders to remain patient. Click here to learn more about how to track a SMART Bus.
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