Cold Lake Transit will be returning to its regular operating hours, but still implementing other COVID-19 safety protocols.

City of Cold Lake Council voted on Tuesday to have the transit program resume regular hours, but not without precautions, such as physical distancing of two metres, and regular sanitization of high-touch areas.

“We have seen an impact on ridership due to COVID-19,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “Though this was expected, there are still a lot of people who rely on transit to get them to and from work and shopping areas, like grocery stores.”

The return to regular hours means Saturday service will resume from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, and the buses will be operating Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, with no service on Sundays or statutory holidays except Canada Day and Remembrance Day.

With physical distancing measures still in place, the maximum number of riders is reduced, as only so many riders can safely be on the bus at any given time. Exceptions to the capacity are made for families travelling together, meaning the maximum number of riders will fluctuate between 12 and 15 people depending on how many are able to ride together.

“With businesses opening up, we hope that this will support the local economy, assisting employees on their way to and from work as well as the general public who require this service to get around the community,” said Copeland.

Signage is placed throughout the bus to help riders determine appropriate distancing from other passengers.

The return to regular hours will start on Monday, June 29th.