GERING, Neb. Alike other businesses across the Panhandle, the Tri-City Roadrunner is seeing a significant decrease in business during the pandemic.
On average before the pandemic, staff would see an average of 2,000 riders per month.
During this pandemic, since March, staff sees an average of 60 riders per day.
With restrictions in businesses and hospitals, less people are using the transit.
On March 26th, staff suspended the two fixed routes.
Staff did shift back to the demand response rides meaning that the interested rider will have to set up an appointment 24 hours in advance.
The service used to run from 6:30am to 6:30pm and now runs from 7:00am to 4:00pm Monday through Friday.
During these trips, drivers are rotated and on limited hours.
When scheduling, the rider will be put into the system and get picked up at your curb.
If it is a medical transport, drivers pick you up 30 minutes prior.
If in a wheelchair, get picked up 45 minutes prior.
Administrative Assistant Curtis Richter says it is essential to promote your local businesses to stop them from closure.
“It’s paramount to support local, said Richter. “Our economy here is always kind of teetering on the edge in being so Ag driven in this community. With these small businesses, it’s really devastating for them. Our revenue is down significantly. Fortunately, we do have some funding mechanisms in place to help us through those lean times but a lot of these local and privately owned businesses don’t have that fall back.”
Richter says he supports local businesses by getting carryout multiple times a week.
With price, rides through Scottsbluff and Gering costs $2, Mitchell, Minatare and Melbeta $4, Morrill $5 and college students are free.
With cleaning, hand sanitizer is provided on all buses, all drivers have masks, disposal surgical masks are available for passengers and all buses are disinfected between rides.
There is a limit of one to two people on the smaller buses and two to three people on the bigger buses.
To set up an appointment, call (308) 436-6687.