The Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority is offering free rides on its buses and shuttles in Sumter County for the foreseeable future.
“We want to assist our citizens and to build up ridership and to let them know we are doing all we can do for our citizens,” said Lottie Jones, the Executive Director of SWRTA.
As the coronavirus has impacted pretty much every aspect of our lives, public transportation has been hit hard as well.
“We understand the hardship it’s had on folks in our area. And for the unemployed who may need to go places, but may not have funds,” she said.
Right now, SWRTA is operating only in Sumter and Lee counties, but continues to offer service to and from Columbia. The mid-day Express Commuter Route has been especially helpful for veterans who have appointments at the VA Hospital in Columbia, she said.
This service runs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and is available not just for veterans, but for anyone who needs to go to Columbia and get back to Sumter.
Riders are required to wear masks, she said, and social distancing measures are in place. The SWRTA is in the process of putting hand-free sanitizer on the buses, she said, while several daily cleanings are now part of the normal protocol.
“We’ve taken many safety precautions,” she said, “and we want folks to feel secure while riding our vehicles.”For more information, call (803) 775-9347 or visit https://www.swrta.com/