As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Asheville implemented a physical distancing strategy to ensure the safety and health of Asheville Rides Transit (ART) riders and staff. The physical distancing policy allows only 10 people to ride at one time, including nine (9) passengers and the driver, making it 10 for each bus. Due to this, as well as a decrease in the number of drivers at ART, the City hired Young Transportation to provide support services in order to continue to operate the transit system as fully as possible.
Click here to view pictures of the different types of buses currently being used for ART service.
(The City is leasing Vicinity buses from Alliance Bus Group (red and gray buses with ART signage) until our bus supplier delivers the bus purchased from the bus manufacturer)
Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions about ART operations.
What is the procedure for full buses?
- When buses reach the 9-passenger limit, operators will call the Dispatch Office to let dispatchers know to send a support vehicle.
- Operators will inform riders that a support vehicle is on the way to pick them up. They will also provide an estimated time when the bus will arrive, if possible.
- Passengers can call ART’s Offices if they continue to have issues at 828-253-5691.
Information on all service impacts can be found on the Service Alert section of the website.
How do we find out about service impacts due to COVID?
Service impacts are posted online at www.ridetheart.com, and can be found on smartphone apps. Text alerts are occasionally sent, and you can always call the ART Ticket Office. iRide email alerts are sent out with information on changes.
How is ART keeping riders safe from COVID?
Asheville Rides Transit sanitizes every bus with a spray disinfectant that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as an Emerging Viral Pathogen Disinfectant. The entire vehicle is sprayed, including touch points such as handrails, the driver area, and pull cords. The high-touch areas of the Transit Center are sprayed daily, with weekly cleanings of the entire facility continuing as usual.
Why are masks not mandatory?
Due to Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order, we are explicitly required to provide a ride to all passengers, with or without a mask.
In Transportation. All workers and riders on public or private transportation regulated by the State of North Carolina, as well as all people in North Carolina airports, bus and train stations or stops, must wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within 6 feet of another person. This provision does not apply to people traveling alone with household members or friends in their personal vehicles, but does apply to ride-shares, cabs, vans, and shuttles, even if the vehicles are privately owned. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no customer will be removed from or denied entry to public transportation for failure to wear a Face Covering.
Where can I get a mask?
The ART Ticket Office has a supply of masks for riders for free. Only one mask will be given per rider. Some drivers may have masks on-board for distribution as well.