By Mike Kruzman /

The Livingston Essential Transportation Service (LETS) is preparing to resume services next week, with precautions in place.

LETS Director Greg Kellogg addressed the Livingston County Board of Commissioners during their online meeting, Tuesday. He provided an update on the service which he said, beginning with the governor’s first executive order, allowed them to continue transit for necessary activities. Since that point they have completed over 700 passenger trips for critical medical needs and “hundreds of meal deliveries.” Kellogg then said that despite the most recent order, they will reopen for trips of any purpose at partial capacity on June 1st. Vehicles will be run at 25% capacity due to social distancing guidelines.

Kellogg said that while they have been looking for guidance from the federal and state governments, little has been available. Instead, he says, they have worked with the Livingston County Health Department and are using CDC guidance to put safety provisions in place. Drivers and passengers will be required to wear face coverings, with drivers being provided N95 masks. Passengers that have a condition that makes them unable to tolerate a mask may be excused. LETS has also installed Plexiglas dividers between the driver and passenger seating area. Kellogg said that it’s not a sealed pod, but it is a full shield that has become a “best practice” in the transit industry over the past couple months.

Kellogg said they have not had problems securing PPE, and every driver will have safety training and passenger-assistance training with COVID-19 guidelines. He said they 75 trips booked for both Monday and Tuesday. Typically LETS runs 400-500 daily. Kellogg said he doesn’t expect ridership from senior programs or the vulnerable population as they begin again. As they phase-in this re-opening, Kellogg did say they hope to get close to their usual capacity over the next few months. The Board of Commissioners has previously waived rider fees for the length of the state of emergency. Kellogg said that policy remains until it expires.