PDRTA sees dip in ridership, ups cleaning efforts as virus spreads


FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – The Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority has seen a dip in ridership as concerns about the coronavirus grow nationwide.

Consequently, the transit authority has temporarily suspended its commuter services from Marion and Lake City to Myrtle Beach.

“We went from taking 20 to 30 individuals to work everyday in those areas down to a handful,” PDRTA Executive Director Don Strickland said. “You have to kind of weigh your odds and make a decision at that point.”

Strickland said the decline was likely tied to the hospitality business.

“A lot of people aren’t going on vacation,” he said. “So the stays at the hotels are down. So, therefore they need less staff to be able to work in those rooms.”

Other bus lines the transit system operates have seen a 20-30 percent dip as well, according to Strickland.

“It’s down some but it’s holding steady,” Strickland said. “The majority of those folks are still probably going to work. We have a lot clients using the bus to go to places like dialysis.”

And for those who are still riding, PDRTA has put in place several measures to keep buses clean. High-tough surfaces are washed down three times a day, windows are kept open and larger buses are being used on some routes to encourage social distancing.

PDRTA emphasized it is working to continue service for all those who depend on it.

“We want to make sure people have access to get where they need to get to,” Strickland said. “So unless we hear from somewhere else, we’re going to try and maintain safe practices and continue running services.”

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