PORTLAND — Greater Portland METRO, Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit, South Portland Bus Service and the Regional Transportation Program have suspended fares and cut back on some service in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bus fares have been suspended to eliminate the cross-handling of cash and paper receipts between bus drivers and passengers in an effort to maximize social distancing.

“The region’s public transit agencies are working very hard to maintain transit service so people can travel for the most critical needs, including grocery shopping, pharmacy visits, non-emergency medical needs, critical job access and to assist family members,” METRO General Manager Greg Jordan said. “We are asking riders to help Maine and the country slow the spread of COVID-19, and avoid using public transit when sick and for unnecessary trips.”

Service for METRO, Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit and RTP has been reduced. METRO will operate on its “Saturday” schedule during the week and weekend schedules will operate as usual. The METRO Transit Center on Elm Street and Congress Street and the corporate office on Valley Street is closed to the public. All Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach routes and connection to Portland will run Monday through Saturday, ending at 6:30 p.m. The Zoom Express Service to Portland’s peninsula remains unchanged.

South Portland Bus Service will maintain regular weekday bus service for the time being and RTP will operate at a substantially reduced level.

For more information about Greater Portland METRO, visit gpmetro.org. Information on other transit services can be found at bsoobtransit.org, rtprides.org or southportland.org/departments/bus-transportation.