Coast RTA to resume collecting fares after allowing free transportation since coronavirus outbreak

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The Coast Regional Transportation Authority will start collecting bus fares again on Monday after allowing free public transportation since the coronavirus outbreak.

Bus fares were waived back in April because allowing passengers to pay meant a lack of social distancing. The fare box, where passengers pay for their ride, sits close to the driver.

Instead of closing down the only public transportation in Horry and Georgetown counties, Coast RTA allowed free transportation for months.

Now that all buses have plexiglass dividers and masks and gloves for drivers, CEO Brian Piascik feels comfortable collecting fares again.

“We are treating our buses just like a place of business,” Piascik said. “So, we just want to stress to our passengers, wear a mask, distance in the vehicle if you can. You should probably sanitize when you get off the vehicle.”

Masks, which are a requirement for both bus drivers and passengers, are provided. Plexiglass sets a barrier between passengers and bus drivers.

All buses are sanitized about four times throughout the day and once again after the final route of the day. Piascik urges passengers to do their part now that safety measures have been put in place.

“We are really struggling to maintain social distancing within the vehicle,” he said. “We want to make sure the people who are using the system are using it for essential trips. We have fairly high incidents of people who are getting on for the sake of getting on.”

Piascik urges passengers to practice social distancing as much as possible to help keep the wheels rolling for public transportation.

All Coast RTA terminal lobbies remain closed until further notice.

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