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Hillsborough brings back bus service on high-ridership routes

Ridership is down about 60 percent from the previous year, which officials attribute to coronavirus.

TAMPA — Some bus routes in Hillsborough will run more frequently starting this weekend as the county’s transit agency reinstates service that was cut due to COVID-19.

Starting Sunday, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority will restore frequency on routes with high ridership. The cuts went in place in April due to concerns about the fast-spreading novel coronaviruus and how it spreads in enclosed, public spaces like a bus.

Five local bus routes will return to their regular weekday schedules: routes 1 (Florida Avenue), 6 (56th Street) 12 (22nd Street), 34 (Hillsborough Avenue) and 400 (MetroRapid). Route 31 (South Hillsborough County) will return to its regular schedule Monday through Friday only.

All other local routes will continue to run on a Sunday schedule seven days a week.

Ridership for the last fiscal year has decreased dramatically during the pandemic, with the transit agency seeing a drop of about 60 percent through June 2020 compared with the previous fiscal year.

The transit agency will take a fluid, responsive approach with its route schedules as coronavirus continues to spread throughout the county, the transit authority said in a statement.

Express routes 20X, 24LX, 60LX and 75LX are not operating at this time. The 275LX (New Tampa) is operating a regular schedule between Wiregrass Park-n-Ride and University Area Transit Center. The 360LX (Brandon/South Tampa) is operating a normal schedule Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, it operates between Britton Plaza and South Tampa only.

The TECO Line Streetcar runs every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday. On weekends, the trips start at 8:30 a.m.

Transit authority employs disinfect buses daily, and passengers and drivers are required to wear face coverings onboard

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