POINT PLEASANT — The TriRiver Transit Board held a conference call on Wednesday morning to discuss changes to the public bus system during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Paula Smith, executive director of TriRiver Transit, said Mason County buses will continue to run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Hours of operation for routes will be changed. The buses will begin at 9:25 a.m. in New Haven and finish the day at 5 p.m. in New Haven.
“This will allow people to get out and get the things they need and get home,” Smith said. Smith said they want to run the public transit system to allow people to get to the store and to essential medical appointments — such as chemotherapy treatments and dialysis.
Smith said the new schedules are the winter schedules, which is delayed because the amount of people who are expected to ride is less than usual. The new time changes will begin on Monday and the schedule will be posted on TriRiver’s website in the coming days.
Smith said that TriRiver Transit is an essential employer, but they cannot force people to work during the crisis. They do have N95 masks and gloves for the drivers to wear.
TriRiver Transit typically matches 50 percent of the federal money from an operation grant, but beginning April 1, they will have to match only 20 percent of the federal money due to an emergency change to the grant.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.