CORONAVIRUS

Cedar Rapids buses start rolling again

Face coverings, social distancing among new rules

Dale Retzlaff, a driver, wipes down a Cedar Rapids Transit bus Monday between routes at the downtown Ground Transportati
Dale Retzlaff, a driver, wipes down a Cedar Rapids Transit bus Monday between routes at the downtown Ground Transportation Center. The city bus service resumed limited routes, with free fares for now. Riders must wear a face covering and bus capacity is limited to 10 passengers at a time. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Nick Birtcher returned to work Monday after nearly two months of unpaid leave from his job at Godfather’s Pizza because the bus system started running again.

Birtcher said the modified service that started Monday, after being sidelined in the coronavirus pandemic, is a “huge blessing” and he is ready to resume work and help “open up the economy.”

Birtcher said his Route 5 had only four others during his trip, all of whom were social distancing and complying with a new mask policy.

Cedar Rapids Transit Manager Brad DeBrower said ridership was off to a slow start. Still, the system was asking riders to use the buses for essential travel only.

They run from 5:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays with hourly service except for Route 5, which runs in 15-minute intervals. There is no peak or Saturday service.

There are no fares and passengers must enter and exit through the rear doors. Face coverings are required onboard and in the downtown Ground Transportation Center. Each bus is limited to 10 passengers at a time.

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Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.