WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) For the first time in its history, the River Valley Transit Center is changing its schedule in response to the novel coronavirus. The organization has limited rides and stops.
Williamsport residents and public transport users like Sara Howsare were shocked when they found out their normal schedule is changing.
“We have no other transportation, you know, and this is what we have and we still have to live our lives and go to work and come back home and stuff like that,” Howsare said.
From 5:30 am to 10:00 am, the buses will be running with normal service on all routes. However from 10:00 am to 2 pm, only the nightline route schedule is available. This includes changes such as no stops at the Lycoming Mall, Penn College or Lock Haven University.
While the normal schedule has buses running through 11:30 pm, rides will now end at 7 pm.
“Our message has been not to have seniors ride as much,” Skip Cochran, Marketing Director for River Valley Transit said. “We really don’t want the people who are non-essential riders. We do offer free rides to seniors. If you need to go to the doctor that’s one thing but don’t go to visit shopping centers if you don’t need to.”
Howsare recently moved to Williamsport from South Carolina. She says that she was just getting used to the normal bus schedule but now, things are hectic.
“I’m just getting a job here and that kind of stuff and I’m about to get my physical done and having to use the bus system to get all of that done, I definitely need it,” Howsare said.
Employees of River Valley Transport say the buses are scrubbed down when they’re not in service. There are also signs in all of the buses notifying riders to take precautions. Administrative offices are closed to the public but passengers can still go inside the transit center to buy passes.
Cochran says the reduced services will continue to stay in place until further notice.