Cherriots to resume some bus service Tuesday

A sign at the downtown transit center announcing Cherriots suspended service on Tuesday, March 31. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

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Salem’s public transit provider will resume some operations Tuesday, April 7 after an historic closure earlier this week in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cherriots is planning for a reduced level of service for essential trips only, said spokeswoman Patricia Feeny.

She said the agency will know what that schedule will look like by Sunday.

Cherriots decided last Monday to suspend service after six drivers and one employee tested positive for COVID-19. Dozens more employees had called in sick since March 13, the last day the first driver who tested positive was on duty.

Tuesday’s closure left many area residents scrambling to find alternative transportation to get to work or the grocery store.

Initially, leaders of Amalgamated Transit Union 757 sought a two-week closure so the agency would have time to evaluate which drivers are returning and estimate service levels.  

Feeny said buses have been deep cleaned and will be cleaned again on Monday. The agency’s buildings will be deep cleaned Sunday as well, she said.

This story will be updated.

Have a tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] or @daisysaphara.