Service partially resumes on some bus routes in quake-hit Suzu City

A bus network in Suzu City, Ishikawa Prefecture, partially resumed service on Tuesday. Some of the buses are running again for the first time since a devastating earthquake hit central Japan on January 1.

The bus network has eight routes. Service on all the routes had to be suspended, as two of the operator's nine buses were damaged by a tsunami. The other buses could not be used, as many roads were closed.

The partial resumption of service came in response to growing requests from survivors, who rely on public transportation to get daily necessities. The resumption became possible after some roads were reopened.

On Tuesday, service on five routes started again. But some routes were altered, due to road conditions. Stops at schools and a general hospital were among those offered on the routes.

The operator is also providing special services between the municipal office and evacuation shelters on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Trips on all the resumed routes are free, as they were before the disaster.

An official representing the operator said most of the drivers are quake survivors themselves and are commuting from shelters.

But he added that they hope to fulfill their duties as public transit workers.