bus lines resume

After Months of No Service, New England Bus Companies to Resume Limited Service

Concord Coach Lines, Dartmouth Coach and Boston Express will all be running limited schedules after being shut down due to the coronavirus

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After four months of no service, New Hampshire-based Concord Coach Lines will begin running a limited schedule in New England again.

The company, along with Dartmouth Coach and Boston Express, will have dozens of busses back on roads from Boston's Logan Airport to Bangor, Maine, on Aug. 16.

"We're running a reduced service," said Benjamin Blunt, Concord Coach Lines' Vice President. There's no way that demand can sustain the level of operations we had back in January and February."

Like other businesses, the bus operator had to stock up on sanitizer and offer masks that customers are required to wear.

There are some more unique modifications including clear plastic shields on the backs of bus seats and prohibiting passengers from sitting in certain seats so they can stay physically distant from one another.

That's in addition to changes in bus terminals like the one in Portland where clear plastic is now hanging at the ticket counter and where some seats have caution tape over them to keep people from sitting there.

"We recognize the primary point we need to prove to folks at this moment is safety," Blunt said.

All the changes will be a little expensive. Blunt estimated each of the dozens of buses going back into service would need about $3,000 each of the modifications.

That said, company employees are happy the buses are running again this year since that was uncertain in March when the decision to stop service was made.

"Quite honestly, we did have the discussion on whether or not we would have to mothball until 2021," Blunt said. "With the current climate in this region, with the success of other services that have started back up again, we think we can get back on the road and do so safely."

In Maine, Concord plans to run eight northbound and southbound trips daily.

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