GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
Greyhound Lines Inc., transports up to 16 million passengers a year to 2,400 destinations in North America including Canada, and Mexico, and a passenger is taking a 900 mile journey for essential business on Greyhound. ” Her name’s Lovely Rowdy Rose, and that’s who I’m going back to see, and she’ll be one year’s old in 5 days. I’m pretty excited, and to top it off, her brother might be born the same day,” says Theo Olbchief.
Theo is traveling about 936 miles from Grand Junction to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, Montana to see his daughter on her birthday, and to see his son come into the world. Theo says, “I’ve been trying to get home for a month, and today it’s finally happening. So, yes!”
In order to keep passengers safe, Greyhound is using ozonation to destroy bacteria and viruses, including the novel coronavirus, as reported on the website. The largest intercity bus transportation in North America also requires both passengers and drivers to wear facial coverings since May 13. Theo welcomes the safety measures, but doesn’t welcomed the inflated price. “It’s costing $200, and I remember it used to be $125, and it takes a lot more time now too. It takes around 3 days when it used to be a day and a half ride,” says Olbchief.
Another bus service in town doesn’t specialize in leaving town, but transports up to 750,000 passengers a year to their local, “essential destinations” because Grand Valley Transit is asking riders to only ride to serve essential needs. The city bus service is also requiring both drivers and passengers to wear masks, and GVT is using an electrostatic disinfection process. Andrew Gingerich with GVT says, “It’s got a static cling to it. So, it sticks to the seats and surfaces and stuff. It’s a much more efficient way.”
Although, GVT is adding precautions to keep everyone safe on the bus, they’re also taking away hours of their third highest ridership through the Dash Service. “Basically, it’s the connection between downtown, the university, Horizon Drive, and the airport,” says Gingerich. The service used to run Thursdays through Saturdays 4:15 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., and it used to be free. “So, right now, we’re just ending all of the features of the Dash on Route 1. So, it will be regular fares,” says Gingerich.