Mayor suspends Rapid Transit services after third driver tests positive for COVID-19
RAPID CITY, S.D. – After a third Rapid Transit System driver tests positive for COVID-19, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender announced Wednesday the city is suspending transit operations for two weeks effective Saturday.
The suspension affects both RapidRide and Dial-a-Ride services.
City officials plan to use the two-week period to clean all of the buses and facilities including the Milo Barber Transportation Center and the RTS bus barn on Centre St.
“We are obviously concerned with the string of positive tests affecting our RTS drivers,” said Mayor Steve Allender. “All of the drivers who have tested positive have been wearing masks, social distancing and following hygiene protocols. There is minimal or no interaction between RTS drivers and passengers.”
On May 16, the South Dakota Department of Health notified the city of the first RTS driver testing positive for COVID-19. Over the weekend, a second driver was notified of a positive result.
The most recent employee to test positive was notified of the result Tuesday evening. The city says the individual began to experience symptoms Friday but had not returned to work after Thursday, May 21. The employee drove RapidRide on the following, dates, times, and routes:
Monday, May 18 6:20 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Coolidge Route
Tuesday, May 19 6:20 a.m. – 2:20 p.m. Jefferson Route
Wednesday, May 20 6:20 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lincoln Route
Thursday, May 21 6:20 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Washington Route
Anyone riding the RTS leading up to the two-week suspension will be notified of the disruption in service.
“While public transit services will be unavailable during this time, there will be a need for transportation in the community,” said Megan Gould, Rapid Transit System manager. “If you know a family member, friend, or neighbor who might benefit from a ride to the doctor or the grocery store, provide that assistance, or offer to run an errand for a disabled neighbor.”
Services are scheduled to resume Monday, June 15.