TRENTON — The Island Explorer bus system is now on its fall schedule, with buses on three routes running less frequently than in the summer.
The frequency is now every 30 minutes instead of every 15 minutes on the Jordan Pond, Loop Road and Schoodic routes.
The Islander reported in late July that the bus system was experiencing a serious shortage of drivers and that, as a result, the Eden Street route had been shortened and one bus had been taken off the Acadia Visitor Center route.
Paul Murphy, executive director of Downeast Transportation, which operates the Island Explorer system, said Monday he has “enough drivers at the moment.”
“We are crossing our fingers that that holds up through the season [which runs through Oct. 11] because we don’t have a lot of cushion.”
Murphy said a few of the current drivers normally would be out of the buses and “on the ground” assisting passengers at the Bar Harbor Village Green, the Acadia Visitor Center and Jordan Pond House.
“Rather than having two people at those locations, now sometimes we might have one,” he said.
He explained that the job of those on the ground is to provide information and answer questions.
“They help make sure people get on the bus they’re looking for, make sure that the queue for people with bikes is orderly and make sure people know they need to be masked when they got on the bus, those sorts of things.”
As for how it’s working out, having fewer employees at those three high-traffic locations at times, Murphy said, “So far, so good.”