In less than two weeks, it will be more difficult to take the bus on the Seacoast.
For the second consecutive year, the bus service via COAST is cut because the organization does not have enough drivers.
“During the day, I always take the bus. It’s cheaper for me,” said Lourtes Sia, from Dover.
Sia, 73, said the COAST bus line is a lifesaver.
“Going to my job, I’m still working, and I’m going shopping, groceries,” Sia said.
Service cuts begin May 21. The shortage of drivers has forced the bus line to reduce the number of buses in circulation, while the service will stop completely on Saturday.
“We expect this to have a significant impact on the movements and lives of many people. We wouldn’t do this if we had any other choice. We are simply understaffed,” said Michael Williams of COAST.
There are five routes that suffer the most from the cuts: Routes 1, 33, 40, 43 and Route 7 are moved from Saturday to Tuesday.
“We are reducing all other routes, so instead of a bus coming once an hour on these routes, a bus will come every two hours,” Williams said.
“It bothers a lot of people, especially when they have to work, assuming that’s the only means of transport,” said Hope Eastman, from Dover.
COAST officials said they are aware of the timing issue, but even with these cuts people should still be able to get where they need to go.
“For example, if you’re trying to get to work, you can still get there, you might have to get there a little earlier than before,” Williams said.
Company officials said they have raised wages and benefits to attract and keep more drivers, most recently in January, but there is a lot of competition for commercial drivers.