The Greater Portland Metro is reducing service on its Route 1 and Breez routes for the next six weeks because of staffing shortages.

The temporary service reduction is necessary because of unforeseen short- and long-term leaves of absence by operators, mostly unrelated to COVID-19, according to a notice about the service change.

“METRO does not take any reduction in service lightly, no matter how temporary. These reductions were made in order to have the smallest possible impact on our overall ridership,” officials said in a written notice.

Starting March 28, Metro is reducing Route 1 service from every 30 minutes to every 60 minutes Monday through Friday. Four southbound and three northbound weekday Breez trips will not run.

The cost of Breez service will be reduced to $2 per trip and will stop at all Route 1 stops between Washington Avenue and Thompson’s Point, including along St. John Street and Mercy at the Fore.

Metro chose to reduce Breez service, which runs between Portland, Yarmouth, Freeport and Brunswick, because it has lower ridership than other routes and has limited effects on staffing of other routes. Many stops along Route 1 are also serviced by bus routes 7, 9 and Breez.

Regular service is expected to be restored on May 8 for Route 1 and May 9 for Breez.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.