coronavirus

Metrobus to Return to Regular Weekday Service After Cuts Due to COVID-19 Surge

Metrobus has been operating on a modified Saturday schedule - or at about 75 percent of its normal weekday service - since Jan. 10 due to employee absences

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Metrobus plans to resume its regular weekday service Feb. 7 after reducing its schedule earlier this month due to staff shortages related to COVID-19, WMATA announced Thursday.

Metrobus has been operating on a modified Saturday schedule — or at about 75 percent of its normal weekday service — since Jan. 10 due to absenteeism rates among employees linked to coronavirus illness and exposure.

Rail service was not affected.

The transit agency said Thursday it's still experiencing “above-average” absences among workers. But with cases declining and employees returning to work after quarantining, Metrobus will be able to resume full service soon.

In a statement, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld thanked Metrobus riders for their patience and understanding during the past weeks.

“I want to thank our customers for their patience as we took swift action to protect the health and safety of riders and employees in the face of the unprecedented covid surge, which has impacted about 10 percent of our workforce since the holidays,” Wiedefeld said.

Metro said it will deploy extra buses when possible to help increase capacity on busy routes. Metro also said it's working to determine staffing levels at bus divisions to schedule shifts and remobilize the bus fleet as needed.

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Once bus service returns to its normal schedule, some trips may be adjusted based on daily employee availability, the agency said.

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