Work is underway to resume Lethbridge Transit routes and fare collection starting Tuesday, August 4, 2020. After receiving the relaunch guidelines from the Government of Alberta, the City of Lethbridge is working to get all precautions in place to safely relaunch transit routes from the current ride-by-reservation system.
When routes return, the current public health recommendations will remain in place including physical distancing and all riders will be urged to wear a mask. Disposable masks will be available on the bus, if needed.
"Safety is still our number one priority," says Kevin Ponech, Transit Manager for the City of Lethbridge. "We are working hard to make sure we have all of the requirements in place to meet the Alberta Government guidelines before we relaunch in August. We also need to transition the software on our buses back to the routing system from the ride-by-reservation we have been using for the several months."
To protect the health of public and staff, Lethbridge Transit suspend fares on March 22. At the time, the collection of fares put riders and drivers at risk as they would need to be in close proximity to each other without any protection. Since that time, the City has installed shields around all drivers to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On April 8, Lethbridge Transit suspended conventional routes and moved to a ride-by-reservation system to manage physical distancing requirements and the decreased rider volumes. This system has been maintained, at no cost to the rider, throughout the COVID-19 shut down.
"We've heard from the community that many people are not using Transit because the ride-by-reservation system is not as convenient as regular routes," says Ponech. "We've decided to bring the full route system back so we can monitor volumes and see if this change brings riders back. We are currently at just 12 per cent of our regular capacity so if numbers remain low, we may still need to adjust routes and frequency to make the system sustainable."
To ensure the safety of staff and riders, fare boxes will be regularly sanitized. Cash will be accepted but the use of a Breeze Card is preferred. A list of Transit fees and ticket/pass outlet locations can be found at: https://myride.lethbridge.ca/Pages/Fares.
The Access a Ride service will also resume fare collection on August 4.
Public access to the Transit building (619-4 Ave N) will continue to be by appointment only.
Residents are reminded that COVID-19 is still in our community and the City will continue to be diligent in helping to prevent the transmission. For regular updates on the City of Lethbridge's response to COVID-19 visit www.lethbridge.ca/covid19
Tara Grindle, Corporate Communications
City of Lethbridge