River Runner and Hiker Shuttles Suspended for 2020 Season at Delaware Water Gap NRA
BUSHKILL and SWIFTWATER, PA – Monroe County Transit Authority (a.k.a. Pocono Pony), in consultation with its National Park Service partners, has decided to indefinitely postpone the Transit in the Park bus system in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the River Runner and Hiker Shuttle services. The Transit in the Park is a fare-free, weekend transit and portage system that serves the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the surrounding communities. In 2019, the bus system carried more than 5,000 passengers and 2,000 boats. Service would normally begin on Memorial Day weekend and run through Labor Day.
To meet social distancing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pocono Pony buses could only carry 8 passengers on each trip as compared to the normal capacity of 16 seated passengers. “The safety of our employees and the public was an important part of the decision to postpone the 2020 service. CDC guidelines for social distancing provide limited options to run an efficient program. We look forward to providing this service next year.” said Peggy Howarth, Executive Director at MCTA.
According to Sula Jacobs, park superintendent, “Many of our visitors have come to rely on the services that MCTA has provided, especially those who are planning river trips or who plan to hike in the busy southern section of the park. The park and our partners are working together to provide a safe atmosphere for our staff and our visitors in accordance with CDC and state and local guidelines. It is more important than ever that visitors plan ahead and be aware that some services and facilities may be limited or unavailable so that they can be prepared.” Trip planning information can be found on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/dewa, on our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/DelWaterGapNPS; or by calling the information desk at (570) 588-7253.
The National Park Service (NPS) is following guidance from the White House, CDC, and state and local public health authorities, as we begin to increase recreational access and services. The park is working with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and is using a phased approach to increase access to more services and facilities.
The park is examining each facility, function, and service that we and our partners provide to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and that they will be monitored regularly. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure that park sites, facilities, and services we provide are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
Monroe County Transit Authority continues to run weekday and Saturday fixed route service in Monroe County. For questions about transit options, visit www.gomcta.com or call (570) 839-6282.