Public Transit Ridership Increasing as COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

HYANNIS – With coronavirus restrictions slowly being lifted across the state, people are returning to use public transportation services provided by the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority.

“In just the last ten days I’ve noticed an uptick in our ridership where we’ve been carrying between 1,200 to 1,500 every day,” said CCRTA Administrator, Tom Cahir.   

“That’s up about two or three or four hundred every day during the initial stages of the pandemic.”

When the pandemic began, public transportation was deemed an essential service by the federal government.

The CCRTA never halted operations.

However the Authority did have to make some alterations to their operations to continue to provide services.

“We’ve taken the PPE matter very seriously with Lysol wipes, and facial coverings, social distancing, we put shields around our drivers,” said Cahir.

“We abandoned collecting fares for the last two months, although we restored collecting fares in the last week or so but we are avoiding the touching of cash and drivers with our customers. So we’ve done everything I think right.”

According to Cahir, since the pandemic began, nine CCRTA drivers have been tested for the virus, all of which came back negative.

Since public transit was deemed an essential service by the federal government, the CCRTA received funding through the CARES Act.

The Authority was able to provide multimodal partners, such as the Steamship Authority, with some of the funding earl on in the public health crisis.

Cahir has also been working closely with the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force as restrictions continue to be lifted.

“I provide a matrix with all of our multimodal partners on it with updated status with how things are working for all of those transportation entities,” said Cahir.

“And there’s a comparison to last year’s numbers and people can access that.”

Cahir said he is proud of how the CCRTA has handled the public health crisis.

“Things are starting to become more optimistic, things are opening up, but in the initial days things were quite gloomy,”

“My staff has been outstanding, we’ve done as much as we can and we continue to monitor how we can do things better. We are working closely with the region to try to find out how to make Barnstable County safe and productive and efficient as it relates to public transportation.”

The CCRTA also announced that CapeFLYER trips will be resuming on Friday, June 26.

Safety measures will be implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 aboard trains.

High touch surfaces will be disinfected daily, and air filters will also be sanitized. In order to provide more space, extra coaches will be utilized. Other safety practices will also be promoted.

The CCRTA confirmed that the cafe car will remain open for travelers.

For more information on the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority and its services, click here.

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