By Shereen Siewert

City buses in Wausau will waive all fare collection until further notice, according to an email from Wausau Metro Ride Transit Director Greg Seubert.

Public transit has been identified as an essential service by state, federal and local agencies and is exempt from the most recent executive order by Gov. Tony Evers, Seubert said.

Some transit systems in Wisconsin, including those in Green Bay and Merrill, have suspended operations entirely, while others have modified procedures and curtailed services.

“Our intent is to remain in operation as best we can, while keeping our employees and passengers safe,” Seubert said. “The most significant operational change was made today, when the Mayor suspended all fare collection at my recommendation.”

Metro Ride is currently operating all regular bus routes and ADA paratransit service from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cleaning protocols have been enhanced to ensure that all frequently touched surfaces on our vehicles are disinfected daily, Seubert said.

In a public notice posted Thursday to the city’s website, Metro Ride is requesting riders limit non-essential bus travel.

“If you are sick, please stay home,” the notice reads.

Passengers must get on and off the bus through the rear door if possible. Those in need of the wheelchair ramp should use the front door.

in addition, all passengers must distance themselves from others by sitting at least six feet apart.