Miam-Dade ends night bus routes during the coronavirus crisis and pays for journeys from Uber and Lyft to transport passengers along routes that normally operate between midnight and 5 a.m.
Miami Herald file
Left priceless and with fewer passengers, the Miami-Dade public transit system is ready to cancel overnight routes and outsource public transportation to Uber and Lyft during these hours.
An Uber statement said the deal will allow Miami-Dade bus passengers to get coupons of up to $ 45 for personal trips along the limited number of night routes.
Miami-Dade is trying to cut costs and reassign drivers to reverse some day service reductions that have led to alarming images of crowded buses on the most popular routes.
“We want one person for each pair of seats,” said Alice Bravo, county transit director. “We are really pushing the message: only ride if it is essential. “
Miami-Dade has already closed Metrorail and Metromover two hours earlier each night, terminated express bus routes, and extended waiting times for trains and buses to save money and operate a system with fewer drivers. Some elderly drivers and those whose state of health makes them vulnerable to COVID-19 have been removed from their jobs.
The cancellation of the night service will force passengers to leave large buses and get into the back of a personal automobile a few meters from a driver. Governments, including Miami-Dade, consider essential transit services to be transportation providers. Uber and Lyft continue to operate, but have suspended services where customers can share their trips.
Uber routes will be available from midnight to 5 a.m. for nine bus lines that run all night. A trial is scheduled for Thursday and the night bus service will end on Friday, said Bravo. In its statement, Uber said passengers should sign up for a voucher on the company’s website, and Lyft said users can enter the code “GONIGHTLY” in the Promos section of the Lyft app.
People without a cell phone with the Internet can call a county hotline, 786-469-5555.
Passengers can be picked up or dropped off only within a quarter of a mile from the night bus lines: 3, 11, 27, 38, 77, 112 / L, 119 / S, 246, 500. Miami-Dade bears the costs, according to ridership enough to make it cheaper to pay Uber and Lyft to move passengers than to pay bus drivers to transport them.
The end of the night bus routes is the latest dramatic cut in a public transportation system that is no longer earning revenue and has forced employees to be in close contact with passengers. The reductions come when bus drivers obtain limited supplies from the county to protect themselves or clean up the surfaces around them.
Bus drivers were rationed with a single Clorox wipe for each shift to wipe their wheels and other flat surfaces for the day. The public transportation system could not secure the masks of the bus operators until Monday evening, and union president Jeffery Mitchell said the drivers received a single mask Tuesday morning and were asked to reuse it. “A mask !!!! He said in an SMS on Tuesday.
To separate drivers from passengers, Miami-Dade requires passengers to board from the rear. He suspended tariffs, which were collected through front doors.
Although ridership has decreased by 80% on some days, some bus routes remain alarming as workers continue to go to construction sites, grocery stores, changes of government and other jobs allowed to continue for an emergency that has clogged much of the economy.
Transit union shared photo allegedly taken by a bus driver early Monday morning on a route from Flagler Street, showing a vehicle in which each available seat is occupied by a passenger.