Metrolinx making face coverings mandatory on all its buses and trains

Jul 17 2020, 11:25 am

Metrolinx making face coverings mandatory on all GO Transit and UP Express starting Tuesday, July 21.

On Friday, Metrolinx said as more people return to GO Transit and UP Express services each day, and with the GTA preparing for Stage 3 of recovery, the transit agency is making  face coverings mandatory.

“For the safety of fellow riders and transit staff it’s the right thing to do to help fight the spread of COVID-19,” Scott Money, Metrolinx senior advisor of media relations and issues said in a statement.

Money says that face coverings on transit were less common when the pandemic first began, but now more than half of GO and UP customers, and in some cases 90%, have been wearing protective face covering over their noses and mouths with some sort of protective barrier.

While it will be a requirement for all customers as of next Tuesday, Metrolinx officials say there will be some riders who will not be able to wear face coverings due to pre-existing conditions.

Therefore, the transit agency is asking everyone to understand those situations and says “no customers will be left behind.”

Transit staff will be on board trains, buses and in stations informing customers about the need to wear a face covering.

“In terms of our enforcement, of our requirement of people to wear face coverings, we will focus on education rather than enforcement. Our employees will help customers on buses and trains if they haven’t got face coverings and we will ensure that no one will be left behind,” Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster said.

Mandatory face coverings are the latest part of a comprehensive health and safety strategy Metrolinx started to develop before a pandemic was declared earlier this year.

According to the senior advisor, on-board safety measures continue to expand and evolve as the province moves through a phased return to normal.

They now include rolling out dividers between train and bus seats, hand sanitizer dispensers, and a comprehensive vehicle and station cleaning regiment that has staff constantly wiping down touch-points.

On July 2, it became mandatory to wear face masks and coverings on the TTC, and five days later Toronto introduced a bylaw making it mandatory to wear face coverings in indoor settings.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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