Update to the RIDE’s suspension of service in the COVID-19 outbreak
As many of you already know, the RIDE had to suspend service on March 22 due to the stay-at-home rules caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak, which leads to the COVID-19 illness. We’ve had a few people ask about when we expect to return to service
We are working to make sure the buses are safer during the upcoming year(s). It is very hard to get items like disposable masks and hand sanitizer for passengers. We need an effective way to deep clean the buses every night, and are hoping to buy equipment to do a fogging disinfection.
Also, we are waiting on our second new bus to be delivered — right now it is at the dealership in the Tacoma area (see photo). The dealership invented and will install a plexiglass barrier between the driver and passengers to provide mutual protection against exposure. After the barrier is installed, the bus should get on a barge up here. We also are trying to rig up temporary driver-surround barriers in our other buses, and can’t put our older buses back on the road until we can get the plexiglass barrier kits shipped up to Sitka and installed locally. Our best estimate is a return to service maybe in mid-June.
We remain idled right now, but when we do resume service we will have two new buses in our fleet. This should end a lot of the route uncertainty we had earlier this year when some of our older buses kept breaking down. When we are ready to resume service, we will post it online, so check our website, http://ridesitka.com, and our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RideSitka.
the RIDE adopts new protocols for coronavirusDue to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the RIDE is adopting the following protocols to try and reduce the spread of the disease. We are watching the situation closely, but for now we are operating (people still need to get to work or medical appointments). Service was suspended on March 22 due to the coronavirus outbreak, and similar protocols may be in place when service resumes.
Please check our Facebook page for route and weather updatesWe don’t like it, but sometimes a bus breaks down, we get snow, or there is a construction project on one of our routes that impacts our schedule. Please watch our Facebook page for route updates. If there is a weather schedule/route change, it will be announced on our local radio stations before it shows up on Facebook or the website, or you can call the RIDE at 747-7103 for more details.
Find the RIDE on Apple MapsDid you know you can now find the RIDE on Apple Maps? You can find schedules and route maps for the RIDE on Apple Maps. We’re helping keep you connected to public transit in Sitka.
Please keep bus loading zones and bus stops clearIn recent weeks there have been several drivers parking in the bus loading zone in the Crescent Harbor parking lot or at marked bus stops downtown. Please don’t do this, especially since the safety of our riders depends on us pulling the buses into these marked spots so riders can safely board or get off the buses. The Sitka Police Department does ticket vehicles parked in bus-loading zones/bus stops, as you can see in the photos from Crescent Harbor. There were at least seven vehicles ticketed the morning of Aug. 16, 2018.
At Crescent Harbor, the entire row of parking spaces next to Harbor Drive is designated as a bus loading zone from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on week days. Even one car next to the bathrooms can force our buses out into the driving lane. The only time you are allowed to park there is on weekends and holidays. We also have several people parking in marked bus stops in front of the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi on Katlian Street or the framing shop on Lincoln Street. These spots are for buses only (not charter fishing vans). We need to get our bus completely out of the driving lane to pick up passengers, and it’s unsafe for our drivers to have to unload riders from the middle of the street. Your help keeping these bus stops clear is greatly appreciated.