MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) — Coast RTA is back in full operation and it’s taking safety precautions and adding a new bus service to North Myrtle Beach.
“We’ve spent about $500,000 or $600,000 on PPE which is bus shields, hand sanitizer and masks available for our passengers who need them, so we’ve really been focused on keeping our residents, our users and our passengers safe and our drivers,” said Lauren Morris, the Public Information Officer for CoastRTA.
Morris said buses are cleaned after each ride, passengers and bus drivers are required to wear face coverings, and social distancing is encouraged.
“We really wanted to make sure we could ensure the safety of our drivers and our passengers before we went back to full operation,” said Morris.
Morris said social distancing isn’t required on buses because their ridership has been low.
“Overall we’ve seen a bit of a decrease probably about, we’re about 50 to 60 percent capacity, probably attributed in some part to tourism numbers being a little down on our entertainment shuttle and kind of lack of workers going to their jobs, we have definitely seen an impact,” said Morris.
Even with a decreased numbers of riders, Coast RTA is adding a new route to North Myrtle Beach.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity to connect two main coastal cities,” said Morris.
The bus service to North Myrtle Beach will be connected via Carolina Forest and it’ll start Oct. 1.
“Starting service to North Myrtle Beach was important to us, it was one of our most requested routes and we’re happy to start that in October,” said Morris.
“It’s always challenging to have a new service started you know, it takes about a year to get it up, while it may not seem like the ideal time, it seems like we had the opportunity to do it and thought this was a great opportunity,” said Morris.
Morris said they’re asking for public input on this new service. The survey can be found on the Coast RTA website.