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Virus concerns force NRoute to suspend normal routes

NRoute has suspended its normal routes as a precaution against exposing employees and passengers to the COVID-19 virus. The decision was made last week.

NRoute Board of Directors chairman Don Brown said the city’s transit system will maintain its paratransit program, which provides door-to-door service to make sure people can get to medical appointments.

“These are people who have qualified because they have medical needs like dialysis,” he said. “They have a letter from a healthcare professional certifying they have a medical condition. We have their names on file. All they have to do is call us.”

Brown said the system will also continue its demand response program, where people who need transportation can call “and we will try and meet that need.”

He said NRoute’s ridership has been low because people who would usually ride the bus system are staying home.

NRoute was formed as a city department in 2006, three years after the city instituted tougher regulations on taxi cabs, forcing two Vicksburg cab services to shut down.

The buses began rolling in June 2006 and NRoute became an independent operation in October 2007, run by a five-member board.

The transit system is funded by three sources: Federal transportation grant funds administered through the Mississippi Department of Transportation, which makes up the bulk of the system’s revenue, an annual city supplement of $200,000 and fares from riders. It also receives $30,100 from Warren County annually.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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