The Newburgh Area Transit continues to operate in the midst of the current novel coronavirus [COVID-19] crisis.
Although social distancing by six feet is heavily suggested when out in public, space can be unavoidable in public transit. For some, the bus is one of the only ways to get around the greater Newburgh area.
According to Justin Rodriguez, assistant to Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, buses are still running on schedule for all routes.
“Drivers are currently taking all necessary precautions such as social distancing and spraying touchable points on the buses using an EPA approved quat disinfectant throughout the day whenever possible,” wrote Rodriguez.
In the evenings buses are thoroughly disinfected inside and out by the wash bay crew. As of Friday, no bus drivers are infected. There hasn’t been a reduction of Newburgh Beacon’s work-force in regards to the Newburgh Area Transit.
Still, bus ridership has been decreasing consistently. In January there were 10,809 total rides for an average of 415 rides per day. In February there were 10,788 total rides for an average of 449 rides per day. From March 1 to March 24, there were an average of 7,641 total trips for an average of 373 trips per day.
Although COVID-19 is one of the biggest factors impacting the ridership decrease, there are other factors. The buses have also been frequently criticized for being not timely and efficient.
Unless an official public transit ban is put out, for some, the bus will remain one of their main forms of transportation.