COAST will resume fixed-route bus services, and Route 7 On Demand on May 11. Unlike the Manchester Transit Authority and Nashua Transit System, which continued to provide service for the general public using their demand response services, without such operational capacity COAST suspended services on April 1 and has been working since to resume some level of essential public transit services for the Seacoast communities it serves.
Due to staffing shortages as a result of COVID-19, not all services will return. For a full list of services, riders should visit www.coastbus.org/COVID-19.
COAST will also be implementing a series of new safety guidelines and processes for traveling on the public transit system. By following these guidelines and respecting social distancing recommendations, the organization believes a safe resumption of service for essential trips is possible.
New Guidelines for Safe Travel with COAST:
- For the time being, COAST requests that passengers only use the bus system for essential trip purposes, such as work, doctor’s appointments, pharmacy, and groceries.
- For everyone’s safety, passengers are strongly encouraged to wear a mask when riding in a COAST vehicle.
- At times when close contact with passengers is unavoidable, COAST bus operators will be wearing masks, face shields, and gloves.
- For everyone’s safety, COAST bus operators will be behind a clear protective barrier while passengers are boarding the vehicles.
- When boarding the buses, there will be a supply of spray-on hand sanitizer that passengers are encouraged to use before moving to their seats.
- COAST will no longer sell or accept 15-Ride Punch Tickets on their vehicles. If passengers have a 15-Ride Punch Ticket that was previously purchased, the bus operators will help passengers exchange their Punch Ticket for the equivalent amount of Single Ride Tickets, as a contactless fare payment alternative.
- When moving to seats, passengers are asked to please respect the caution tape that will be used to help maintain social distance between passengers.
- Passengers will be asked to please not approach the bus operator while the bus is in motion, or when the clear protective barrier is open.
- New ‘Stand Behind’ lines will be positioned further back in the cabin of the buses, away from the bus operators.
- There will be new guidelines for getting on and off the buses in a way that promotes safety and social distancing. More information about these guidelines will be made available closer to May 11.
“We look forward to resuming service and helping passengers get to where they need to be, whether that is an essential job, to access groceries, go to the pharmacy or go to a doctor’s appointment,” says COAST Executive Director, Rad Nichols. ”To all the employers, co-workers, family members, and friends helping our passengers get to and from work and other critical services during the past few weeks – we say thank you. During our service suspension, you all have been amazing.”
Monthly passes will be discounted in May to $30 vs. $52 and COAST Clipper monthly passes will be sold for $155 vs. $255. Partial refunds will be issued to any passengers who had purchased full-price monthly passes for the month of May.
The Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) has provided public transit service to the Seacoast New Hampshire region since 1982. COAST is a non-profit agency, operating a regional public transit system that relies primarily on federal and local government support to operate.