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  • COAST to resume fixed route bus service on May 11

    DOVER — COAST is resuming fixed route bus services, and Route 7 On Demand, on Monday, May 11.

    Unlike the Manchester Transit Authority (MTA) and Nashua Transit System (NTS), which were both able to continue to provide essential service for the general public using their demand response services, without such operational capacity COAST has been working diligently to resume some level of essential public transit services for the general public since suspending services on April 1.

    Due to staffing shortages as a result of COVID-19, not all services will return to normal operations on May 11. For a full list of services to resume, please see COAST’s website at www.coastbus.org/COVID-19. In order to promote safe interactions between passengers and staff, COAST will also be implementing a series of new guidelines and processes for traveling on the public transit system. By following these guidelines and respecting social distancing recommendations, the organization believes a safe resumption of service for essential trips is possible.

    New Guidelines for Safe Travel with COAST:

    • For the time being, COAST requests that passengers only use the bus system for essential trip purposes, such as work, doctor’s appointments, pharmacy, and groceries.
    • For everyone’s safety, passengers are strongly encouraged to wear a mask when riding in a COAST vehicle.
    • At times when close contact with passengers is unavoidable, COAST bus operators will be wearing masks, face shields, and gloves.
    • For everyone’s safety, COAST bus operators will be behind a clear protective barrier while passengers are boarding the vehicles.
    • When boarding the buses, there will be a supply of spray-on hand sanitizer that passengers are encouraged to use before moving to their seat.
    • COAST will no longer sell or accept 15-Ride Punch Tickets on their vehicles. If passengers have a 15-Ride Punch Ticket that was previously purchased, the bus operators will help passengers exchange their Punch Ticket for the equivalent amount of Single Ride Tickets, as a contactless fare payment alternative.
    • When moving to seats, passengers are asked to please respect the caution tape that will be used to help maintain social distance between passengers.
    • Passengers will be asked to please not approach the bus operator while the bus is in motion, or when the clear protective barrier is open.
    • New ‘Stand Behind’ lines will be positioned further back in the cabin of the buses, away from the bus operators.
    • There will be new guidelines for getting on and off the buses in a way that promotes safety and social distancing. More information about these guidelines will be made available closer to May 11.

    COAST Executive Director, Rad Nichols, commented, “We look forward to resuming service and helping passengers get to where they need to be, whether that is an essential job, to access groceries, go to the pharmacy or go to a doctor’s appointment.” Nichols added, ”To all the employers, co-workers, family members, and friends helping our passengers get to and from work and other critical services during the past few weeks – we say thank you. During our service suspension you all have been amazing.”

    In recognition of the resumption of service mid-month, COAST monthly passes will be deeply discounted in May. COAST monthly passes will be sold for $30 vs. $52 and COAST Clipper monthly passes will be sold for $155 vs. $255. Partial refunds will be issued to any passengers who have already purchased full price monthly passes for the month of May.

    For additional updates on COAST operations resuming on May 11, please follow COAST on Facebook and Twitter (@COASTbus), download the DoubleMap App, or visit www.coastbus.org. The Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) has provided public transit service to the Seacoast New Hampshire region since 1982. COAST is a non-profit agency, operating a regional public transit system that relies primarily on federal and local government support to operate. COAST is governed by a board of directors representing the communities served, two regional planning
    commissions, and many local and state agencies. COAST’s vision is to be an innovative leader in providing a broad range of public transportation services, connecting and coordinating a robust network of transportation options for everyone.