As the coronavirus continues to spread steadily through Ontario, Metrolinx says ridership has declined 90% on all routes, which has prompted the regional transit agency to further reduce service.
Metrolinx says service levels will be reduced for GO trains and buses and, while all lines will operate during their normal times of day, they will have reduced frequency.
- Urban Movement in Toronto Plunges as Coronavirus Outbreak Continues
- Toronto’s Public Transit Ridership Drastically Declines Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
- How to Ride Public Transit Safely During the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Metrolinx Releases Update on Measures to Combat Spread of Coronavirus
“The further reduction will ensure GO Transit has a sustainable plan for the duration of this emergency, including enough staff on hand to keep customers moving to the essential places they need to be,” Metrolinx said in a statement.
Starting Wednesday, April 8, the service reductions will be as follows:
- GO train lines will operate every 60-90 minutes at times of day they generally have service. Most stations will continue to be served – just less frequently.
- Bus service will also be reduced and adjusted to align with train service.
- UP service will continue to operate every 30 minutes.
Metrolinx says staff will continue to monitor all routes closely and have the ability to add more service if and when required. The full reduced service schedule can be found here.
ICYMI: Further temporary reductions to @GOtransit begin April 8. Requesting our healthcare workers review schedule ASAP & let us know if it doesn’t work for you. We want to ensure we get you to your jobs on the frontlines. https://t.co/kpzWx7wXaM
— Anne Marie Aikins (@AMAwithAMA) April 6, 2020
Transit is considered an essential business because it ensures essential workers can get to their jobs. Metrolinx says to further protect its customers and staff, extra layers of protection have been added between drivers and the public.
This includes adding plexiglass shields to GO Transit buses, which will give drivers a protected enclosure and distance from any customers who might be sick.
Metrolinx has implemented additional safety measures including giving transit operators the option to wear face shields while at work and actively encouraging riders to space themselves out on trains, buses, and platforms.
As our customers noted this morning, we continue to see reductions in ridership; we’ll continue to monitor the levels and adjust as needed to alleviate any potential crowding. 2/2
📸 : @Van_ganesh | @Indramaharjan | @DustinJLittle | @Sasajewun pic.twitter.com/4hm3CA5Ipl
— Metrolinx (@Metrolinx) March 16, 2020
The news comes in the wake of the TTC announcing ridership has declined by 60%, causing the transit agency to lose millions of dollars a week to do the COVID-19 pandemic.