ROUTES GO FARE FREE
Effective May 5, passengers can board routes 1-7 without paying their usual fares, according to Ryan Oakley, General Manager of First Transit.
The waiving of fares is intended to enhance existing social distancing measures and also to help the public save some money, said Oakley.
Passengers should expect fare boxes to be taped off in coming days, he said.
FACE MASKS REQUIRED
Effective Friday, April 17, all passengers over the age of 2 will be required to wear a face mask while traveling on public transit.
The directive is intended to stop the spread of COVID-19.
It comes as the latest extension of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's March 7 declaration of a statewide disaster emergency. The executive order states that all individuals over the age of 2 and "able to medically tolerate a face covering" shall cover their nose and mouth when in a public place and unable to maintain social distancing.
Locally, starting the morning of April 17, Cortland Transit bus drivers will be informing all passengers that they will not be permitted aboard without a face covering. The bus company already enforces social distancing measures as well.
Signs are now posted in all bus shelters, informing the public of the rules.
A cloth face mask is recommended for public use, and there are federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on how to properly wear the cloth coverings here.
In his address, Cuomo stressed that even a bandana would be permitted as a face covering. What is not permitted, according to First Transit, is pulling a shirt up over one's mouth as a makeshift cover. A handkerchief fashioned as a mask or a properly designed mask are both acceptable coverings, according to the company.
Some local businesses selling cloth face masks include Magpie Custom Creations in Cortland and Artisan Elements in Homer.
As of March 20, 2020, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily disrupted the following routes: The JM Murray runs have been cancelled until further notice.
Because of passenger demand, First Transit is still running its fixed routes (1-7) and offering Dial-a-Ride services until further notice.
Further developments will be posted here as they occur.
ROUTE DEVIATIONS FOR SCHOOL MEALS
First Transit wants the public to know that as a service to families during the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be waiving its fee for route deviations when delivering people to pick up lunches at some sites offered by the Cortland and Homer school districts.
Please refer to this flier for Cortland Transit's policy regarding route deviation fee waivers:
And please refer to the flier displayed below or your school district's meal distribution information on their website for all meal pickup locations in the county: