Votran makes temporary service changes and will no longer require riders to wear face masks.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
Votran, Volusia County’s public transportation system, continues to experience challenges reaching pre-pandemic staffing levels. To prevent further disruptions in service to customers Votran will implement temporary service adjustments that go into effect Monday, April 25, when Votran routes 7 and 20 transition from 30-minute intervals to 60-minute intervals.
“Over the past two years, transit agencies statewide have had to adjust service due to staffing shortages and hiring difficulties,” said Votran General Manager Kelvin Miller. “Votran is committed to providing safe, reliable service to customers, and we’re working diligently to address these challenges and resume regular service as quickly as possible.”
According to a release, Votran has implemented other measures addressing staffing shortages, to include sign-on and retention bonuses. These measures will help ensure service continues to operate smoothly while Votran actively recruits additional staff.
Additionally, the paratransit Transportation Disadvantaged service may be prioritized based on the purpose of the trip for riders with ADA needs and medical trips. Evaluation of prioritized paratransit trips will be reviewed daily, based on the availability of personnel and the number of trips scheduled.
During these temporary changes, Votran will try to complete every requested trip.There are no changes to the trips provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act programs.
Due to the situational nature of these changes, printed bus schedules may not reflect the most current operations while service adjustments are in effect. Signage and “Take-Ones” are available inside buses at the Votran Transfer Plaza and the Votran Administrative Office. For real-time information, customers can visit www.Votran.org/take-a-trip.
Votran will also no longer require passengers to wear a face-covering on buses and in transit facilities. The change aligns with the Transportation Security Administration’s decision to lift the face mask mandate for all public transportation and transportation hubs.
“We encourage customers to continue using masks to their comfort level,” said Miller. “Votran will continue to have masks available to the public while supplies last.”
This decision is effective immediately after a federal judge in Florida lifted Executive Order 13998, requiring the use of face masks by drivers and passengers. Updates will be provided to the public by Votran if there are any further changes.