Borough bus service to resume at limited capacity

FAIRBANKS, Alaska. (KTVF) The Fairbanks North Star Borough will resume limited transportation services on Thursday after it was suspended to provide driver training and acquire personal protective equipment.

Fairbanks North Star Borough MACS Transit and Van Tran services will be starting at a limited capacity on Thursday. (Alex Bengel/KTVF)

Chief of Staff Jim Williams says they will not be using their large traditional buses,due to an inability to maintain social distancing on the large buses. "We'll use our Van Tran buses. We'll run service similarly to how we do Van Tran. Folks will call in for an on-demand ride, and then we'll provide that ride and we'll see how that goes," said Williams.

Williams says rides will first go to current Van Tran patrons: “If you’re already registered and signed up for Van Tran, then you’ll get a priority on the rides.”

Other borough business is also impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward says he is suggesting to the borough assembly that they postpone the public testimony and the vote on the Capital Improvement Program that currently scheduled for this Thursday.

"We have the program drafted and presented but we want to make sure that it's being done and approved in a manner that garners the correct amount of public support that we would want to see. I think it's difficult to get that support or even that communication from the public during the challenge that we're dealing with right now with COVID. [We] can't assemble together and hear from the public," said Ward.

Ward says the goal is to make sure the community shows full support for the Capital Improvement Program, and that the borough is being fiscally prudent with its resources. With the current uncertainty of the future, Ward says he would like to postpone the decision until the COVID-19 pandemic is over so they can reassess what decisions should be made moving forward.

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