Dover, NH – The region’s public transit system is on track to resume limited Saturday service beginning on September 17. COAST has not operated any Saturday service since late-May because of a shortage of bus operators.
“At this point we have enough operators who are willing to work extra shifts on a regular and ongoing basis to announce the return of limited Saturday services, starting on September 17,” said Rad Nichols, COAST Executive Director. “Unexpected staffing challenges can of course affect these plans,” he added.
Saturday services will be limited to the following bus routes and service hours, for now.
Route 1 (Dover/Somersworth/Berwick): 9:30 am – 3:25pm, with a service gap between 11:30am and 12:30pm
Route 12 (Rochester/Somersworth/Dover): 8:30am – 4:00pm
Route 13 (Dover/Portsmouth): 7:30am – 3:30pm
Route 14 (Rochester): 9:00am – 1:55pm
Route 41 (Lafayette Trolley): 9:00am – 3:50pm, with a service gap between 12:00 and 1:00pm
COAST, like many public transit systems across the country, has struggled to hire enough staff to maintain their full bus schedules.
As the COAST board of directors considers the upcoming FY23 operating budget, increases in operator pay and other potential enhancements to retain current and attract new staff are being considered. “One of our primary goals is to address the issues we are having with bus operator staffing, and to consider what we can do to address that as we develop the upcoming operating budget,” stated David Sandmann, COAST’s Chair of the Board.
For the most up-to-date information on COAST services, please visit COAST’s website at www.coastbus.org, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/COASTbus and twitter account @COASTbus.
The Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) has provided public transit service to the Seacoast New Hampshire region since 1982. COAST is a public, non-profit transit system that relies primarily on federal and local government support to operate. COAST is governed by a board of directors representing the communities served, two regional planning commissions, and many local and state agencies.
Photo credit: Erin Thomas