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Indian Trails to resume daily, scheduled bus service

Indian Trails Inc. will restart most of its daily scheduled bus service in Michigan beginning Saturday.

OWOSSO – Effective Saturday, Indian Trails Inc., will restart most of its daily scheduled bus service, which includes routes throughout Michigan, and into Chicago, Milwaukee and Duluth, along with reduced connections with the Greyhound and Amtrak national transportation networks.

“We’re grateful to be resuming this important service in our region,” said Indian Trails President Chad Cushman. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve faced the biggest economic challenge in the 110-year history of our family-owned company. It feels great to bring more employees back to work and watch part of our 74-bus fleet roll off the lots and back on the road again.”

Tickets for every active Indian Trails route can now be purchased at the company’s webstore. Schedules for all active routes, plus a Route Map, are posted online at https://www.indiantrails.com/bus-routes.

Tickets can also be purchased in person at more than 90 locations statewide and beyond, though it’s highly recommended for passengers to call ahead to ensure that the travel center nearest them will be open since many are still closed. For information on central Upper Peninsula centers, call 1-800-292-3831.

Indian Trails suspended operation of its daily scheduled routes about four months ago, on March 21, for financial and safety reasons.

Recently, about $2.4 million in federal CARES Act funding was secured through the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Basically, this will help subsidize losses on all contracted and subsidized routes throughout Michigan and Wisconsin for the remainder of 2020 and perhaps the early part of 2021 as ridership builds back up, Cushman said.

The Phase I resumption of service–representing about 25 percent of normal operations–will enable the company to bring a quarter of its 150-member staff back to work, joining a smaller number of staff who have been working during the pandemic.

In order to minimize the chance of spreading the coronavirus on board its buses, Indian Trails is taking the following steps, among others, in addition to its normal safety and cleaning protocols:

— Requiring passengers to wear face masks for the duration of their trips–“No Mask, No Ride.”

— Providing hand sanitizer on all buses.

— Limiting the number of passengers per bus.

— Asking passengers to occupy seats as far apart as possible.

— Ventilating buses with fresh air rather than air recirculated through the heating/cooling system.

— Providing transparent, protective barriers between drivers and passengers with the first row of seats blocked off.

— Cleaning and disinfecting buses after each run, with particular attention to high-touch areas such as handrails, arm rests, and restrooms.

–Spraying the entire interior of each bus with a general disinfectant for additional sanitization.

— Requiring daily temperature and symptom checks of all on-duty Indian Trails employees, and requiring the entire workforce to abide by a comprehensive COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. Of course, staff members must stay home if they feel sick.

For more information, go to https://www.indiantrails.com/what-you-must-know-ride-during-covid-19.

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