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Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority announces bus service cutbacks due to Coronavirus

Weekday service will be scaled back by about 40 percent.
Passengers board the Route 9 PSTA bus at Grand Central Station in St. Petersburg, Florida on Thursday, January 23, 2020. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

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The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority on Saturday announced sweeping changes to its services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The transit authority said it would change both its operating hours and how it operates its fleet of buses. The changes will start March 30.

All transit services will now operate from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., the agency said — the equivalent of a Saturday service level during the work week.

Bus drivers will also be allowed if they wish to keep no more than 10 people on any agency vehicle at a time. If a driver notices a bus pushing capacity, they can radio for another driver. The transit authority plans to station buses at busy areas during peak hours, the release said.

All passengers are to enter buses from the back.

These measures come in addition to already existing precautions such as giving drivers masks and gloves, the release noted.

“We understand that this will impact the lives of many of our riders, and we sincerely apologize for challenges this may present,” the release said.

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