March 16, 2020

Coronavirus Spread Could Impact Lafayette Bus Service

Article origination WBAA-AM


Greater Lafayette bus service CityBus will plan for the possibility of sick drivers and begin downsizing bus routes as the new coronavirus continues to spread in Indiana.

As of Monday, there were no confirmed cases in Tippecanoe County. But CityBus manager of development Bryce Gibson says the transit service is trying to respond to a rapidly changing situation.

“We’re still trying to get our feet under us,” Gibson said. “But the initial thought is that there’s an opportunity, or a possibility, that this could greatly impact our service.”

Gibson said about half of the bus fleet’s approximately 90 drivers are of an age could make them more vulnerable to the virus. He also said Purdue University’s decision to switch to remote learning for students after this week’s spring break frees up some of the employees who typically drive the campus routes. 

CityBus will also begin reducing the number of buses on about nine lines throughout Greater Lafayette. Those reductions will add to the wait time at stops for riders. Gibson said the company provided over 5 million rides in 2019.

And, Gibson noted, CityBus riders need the service -- for everything from a grocery store run to a doctor’s appointment. But he acknowledges the company may need to restrict routes even further. 

“There really aren’t any answers right now,” Gibson said.

Riders can see changes to their regular service on the CityBus website, Facebook page, and Twitter account, or by calling customer service at 765-742-RIDE.


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