Cedar Rapids Transit suspending fixed-route operations on Wednesday to limit COVID-19 spread

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A large piece of the public transit operations in Cedar Rapids will be suspending operations on Wednesday, according to city officials.

Cedar Rapids transit buses move along downtown Cedar Rapids streets on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 (Brian Tabick/KCRG)

Cedar Rapids Transit will stop its fixed-route bus service on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in order to limit the continued spread of the novel coronavirus. The action was taken after recent recommendations from state and federal authorities, according to city officials.

Services will be suspended until April 13, though officials will reevaluate before deciding to resume services.

“Suspending a service like transit is a difficult decision but it’s one we must make to help prevent a possible spike in the number of cases that could overwhelm medical facilities,” Jeff Pomeranz, Cedar Rapids city manager, said. “We have been taking measures to regularly clean and completely sanitize all of our buses daily, but they are still confined spaces that fill with many people throughout the day. We are at a critical moment to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19. It’s vital that we take the actions needed to protect our community.”

The Neighborhood Transportation Service, known as NTS, will continue operations and will attempt to expand after-hours service to provide rides for those with critical employment needs. Those include workers for hospitals, grocery stores, care facilities, and convenience stores. Residents can schedule a ride by calling (319) 363-1321 at least 24 hours ahead of time.

More information on NTS is available at this website.

Linn County LIFTS Paratransit will continue to service existing customers for essential trips, like medical visits, pharmacy visits, dialysis, or grocery store visits. Users can call (319) 892-5170 to see if any rides are available.