In response to an immediate and expanding public health threat from Coronavirus (COVID-19) locally and beyond, Aroostook Regional Transportation System, Inc. has enacted a response plan to enable staff and volunteers to continue their critically important mission.

According to Executive Director David Dionne, ARTS’ mission is to assist people of Aroostook County in meeting their transportation needs. ARTS offers transportation to all towns in Aroostook County, Patten/Stacyville in Penobscot County and Danforth in Washington County. This mission is even more important now during this period of increased public health concern.

“We are still open for business,” said Dionne. “There has been some confusion lately that we were closed, but that is not true. We have made some changes to how we do business this week due to public health concerns regarding Coronavirus, but all of our buses and vans are rolling Monday through Friday.

In addition, the PI Loop continues to operate on the same schedule – Monday to Sunday.” Dionne said operations have changed due to recommendations from the CDC, FTA, and State Authorities regarding Coronavirus. ARTS staff and volunteers are following CDC recommendations to increase hand washing and practice social distancing. In addition, public access to the operations center on U.S. Route 1 is now limited to the lobby and service window.

ARTS staff has increased the frequency of sanitizing the buses and van from once daily to multiple times during the day. Touch points such as railings, door handles, seats, seat belts, windows and grab bars are cleaned more often.

Dionne said the affordable and reliable public transportation service is critical to assuring the public --especially elderly and physically challenged residents -- get to their medical appointments and dialysis treatments safely and on time. It is also often their only way to shop for essential food and supplies.

He said ARTS will use smaller vehicles to transport vulnerable riders who would benefit from limited exposure to the general public.

For more information or to schedule a ride, please call 207-764-3384 or toll free at 1-800-442-3320. Or visit www.Aroostooktransportation.org.

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