As Chatham Area Transit prepares to increase operating hours on Monday, customers should be aware of the safety measures and policies that will remain in place to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Until further notice, customers should be aware of the following: • Bus capacity is limited to 12 to 15 passengers. • CAT Mobility vans are limited to three passengers. • Bus and CAT Mobility customers should ride only for essential trips such as work, medical appointments and grocery shopping. • Roundtrips or joyriding is prohibited. • Fare collection remains suspended and customers should use the rear doors if possible to avoid contact with the operator. • Passengers are urged to wear masks or face coverings while riding the bus or using CAT Mobility paratransit services. • Customers should not ride if sick.
The ramped up schedule went into effect on June 15 and will essentially mirror CAT’s regular schedule, with the exception that the 14 Abercorn, 27 Waters and 25 MLK/Westlake will stop operating earlier than normal on most days. (Sundays will run on a regular schedule). The three routes will run as follows: • 14 Abercorn will run until 12:15 a.m. on weekdays and 11:55 p.m. on Saturdays. • 25 MLK/Westlake will run until 10:55 p.m. on weekdays and 11:07 p.m. on Saturdays. • 27 Waters will run until 11:25 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays.
CAT Mobility paratransit service hours will be identical to the extended fixed-route schedule.
Some contracted services will remain suspended until further notice. These services include the Dot shuttle, SSU shuttle and Senior Circulator.
Savannah Belles Ferry services also will begin operating on an increased scheduled on June 15 that will run from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
As the community takes steps to reopen following the easing of shelter-inplace orders, the expanded schedule is expected to serve more people. However, the buses will have limited capacity due to social distancing guidelines and our larger buses will only be able to seat 12 to 15 customers depending on the type of vehicle, said interim Executive Director/CEO Michael J. Brown.
“We have to adjust our service to meet the community needs, while maintaining our focus on keeping our customers and employees as safe as possible,” Brown said. “This has been our goal since the virus first appeared within our community and will remain so as we continue to navigate through this pandemic.”
Additional safety measures that will continue include the nightly cleaning of each bus in accordance with established protocols for preventing the spread of COVID-19. This process includes doubling the bleach content of cleaning products, as well as using Vital Oxide, a sanitizing fog sprayed throughout the vehicles and ferry boats. Hand sanitizer dispensers also have been set up at CAT facilities for employees and customers.
Customer service also resumed regular operating hours on June 15. At that time, customers can call (912) 233-5767 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon.-Fri., and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.
For more information and to check individual schedules, go to www.catchacat.org/maps-andschedules/ current-schedules/.