US public transit agency Sound Transit has decided to suspend some of its services in the Seattle metropolitan area due to the reduced demand amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Services will be reduced on the Link light rail and Sounder trains, along with the King County Metro operated ST Express bus routes.
However, the Community Transit and Pierce Transit operated ST Express buses will remain in operation for now, along with the Tacoma Link service.
Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said: “The changes that we are implementing respond to our dramatically reduced ridership while still preserving reliable service and maintaining ample flexibility for social distancing by riders.
“In this challenging time, we will continue to treat transit as a lifeline for people who need to travel, including people caring for relatives, first responders, healthcare workers and other essential personnel.”
The changes are made due to the decreased ridership since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sound Transit stated that the ridership reduced by around 69%.
Due to the outbreak, the majority of the operations and maintenance staff have opted to stay home, which made it difficult to maintain the current service.
The Covid-19 pandemic has so far killed more than 10,000 and infected over 245,000 people worldwide. The US has 14,250 confirmed cases with 205 cases.
Russian Railways also suspended rail services to Estonia, Belarus and Azerbaijan to control the pandemic.
Transport for London (TfL) in the UK also implemented different temporary measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 to ensure passenger safety.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in the US announced that that it will suspend the extra services on the Yellow Line, effective from 19 March.