October 13, 2020 - In an effort to meet the changes in rider needs and respond to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chatham Area Transit will implement several service changes in November.
Starting on Monday, Nov. 2, most CAT buses will operate on a modified schedule on weekdays and Saturdays. Sunday’s service for its fixed-route buses will temporarily be suspended. However, CAT’s Mobility services for people with disabilities will continue to operate on Sundays.
To accommodate service demand on weekdays, additional buses will operate on routes 10 East Savannah, 14 Abercorn and the 17 Silk Hope.
As a result, bus frequency will be reduced on the 6 Cross Town, 12 Henry, 25 MLK/West Lake, 28 Waters, and 31 Skidaway/Sandfly routes to help with the financial challenges
Bus frequency will remain the same for routes 3 West Chatham, 3B Augusta Ave, 4 Barnard, 11 Candler, 20 Skidaway Island/Coffee Bluff, 25 MLK/West Lake, 27 Waters and 29 W. Gwinnett/Cloverdale.
CAT will retain the reduced evening schedule that is currently in place, which means all bus and CAT Mobility operations will continue to stop operating by 10 p.m.
The new schedule includes the temporary suspension of all routes on Sundays, which have consistently been the system’s lowest ridership day. The Sunday suspension will allow for a day of enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, as COVID-19 continues spreading throughout the community.
In addition, CAT will suspend operations of the shuttle to the airport, the 100X Airport Express, which has seen little use during the pandemic.
CAT continues to operate modified services as the agency is still encouraging social distancing by permitting only 15 to 20 people per bus or half the normal capacity.
The modified schedule is expected to stay in place until the end of CAT’s fiscal year, which runs through June.
“COVID-19 has caused a drastic drop in revenue resulting in an increase in unplanned and unbudgeted expenses,” said CAT CEO Bacarra S. Mauldin. “We are implementing these service optimizations, and other belt-tightening measures to prevent CAT from experiencing an operating shortfall as we work to build a strong reserve fund for unforeseen emergencies during the continuing crisis.”
CAT’s customer service hours will remain the same. Please call (912) 233-5767 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The planned changes will be discussed during three CAT Board committee meetings today and at a virtual community meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14.
The public may access Wednesday’s community meeting by calling (929) 205-6099 and then dialing the meeting ID: 819 9330 2752.
In addition, discussions will be held about the proposed service changes during the CAT board’s next regular meeting on Oct. 27. All meetings will be streamed live on CAT’s YouTube channel. The public may call in to offer feedback during the public comment portion of the board meeting by calling (929) 205-6099 and then dialing the meeting ID: 858 3989 6020.