BIDDEFORD — Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit will reopen service, at a reduced level, after one month of suspended service, in response to our local COVID-19 pandemic situation.

“We have used this time to allow our employees to stay safe and work their way back to health, if needed,” according to a transit press release.

The reduced service plan, providing basic life line connectivity to our communities during this continued time of challenge, will begin on Friday, May 1.

• Zoom Express will leave the Exit 32 Park and Ride at 6 and 7:08 a.m. and 4:09 and 5:35 p.m. Monday through Friday to provide essential employment transportation to Portland’s peninsula.

• Black & Orange and Blue & White lines will begin service at 8:45 a.m. and provide their last runs of the day at 4:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday from Saco Transportation Center. The buses will be running continuous loops throughout the day. These loops will take approximately 45 minutes. There will be minimal layover time at the Saco Transportation Center. Due to social distancing protocol, seats on the bus will be specifically marked for use. Since this requirement will limit how many passengers  can safely be allowed on the bus, the transit system will employ the service of a “chase” bus. When a bus reaches its maximum ridership, the driver will radio back to the STC, tell the chase bus where the last passenger was picked up and the chase bus will head to that location immediately and continue the route while the first bus drops off its passengers.

“We feel confident that this will provide safety and shorter wait times for passengers,” according to the release. “We urge you to access our automated vehicle locator app by going to our website www.BSOOBTransit.org and clicking on the bus locator button on the home page. You can also download it onto your smartphone at transit.unitegps.com/bsoob to get up to the minute locations of our buses. Be advised, the Saco Transportation Center remains closed to the public until further notice.”

There will be no Portland Intercity Connector, Maroon Line, or Sunday service until the transit systerm returns to full service in the future. The Yellow Line will remain suspended indefinitely due to the closure of University of New England.

Precautions we will continue to take are daily disinfecting of our fleet, boarding from rear doors whenever possible, social distancing on board and continued suspension of fare collection to name a few.

All BSOOB Transit employees have been issued CDC recommended masks and will be mandatory for those who are public facing.

Check the transit system’s website and social media pages in the coming days for video messaging and additional information.

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