As part of the ongoing, shared effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, Metro Transit will suspend all bus and light rail service from 11 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. beginning Tuesday, March 17.
“We are doing this to help focus our limited resources on times when demand is greatest,” Metro Transit General Manager Wes Kooistra said. “It is also an important safety measure as the region and nation works through this pandemic.”
Metro Transit's ridership is at its lowest overnight, meaning the fewest number of people will be impacted by the loss of service. Overnight ridership is expected to further decline as businesses reduce hours or close.
Additionally, Metro Transit’s existing operator shortage is expected to worsen due to strong recommendations to stay home in the event of illness, school closures and other factors. The move will also provide more opportunity to clean and disinfect buses and trains, helping to protect riders and operations staff.
A disproportionate number of biohazard incidents (up to 60%) occur overnight. Biohazards can create unhealthy conditions in regular times; during a pandemic event, those health concerns increase.
Metro Transit police officers will continue to work their normal overnight shifts, and the agency will continue to support partner agencies as needed.
Customers who must use transit during hours of operation are asked to do so for essential travel only, to practice social distancing whenever possible and to take action to prevent the spread of germs.
“Metro Transit will continue to work to provide safe service and looks forward to returning to a more standard and reliable schedule when the region and nation recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," Kooistra said
For the latest information and service updates visit metrotransit.org/health.
The latest information on the state’s response can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.