All GO Transit employees will soon be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of Metrolinx’s newly announced vaccine mandate.
The Crown agency announced on Friday that, at the direction of Ontario Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney, it is developing a mandatory vaccination policy and implementation plan that will be shared with employees in the coming days.
“Vaccination is the most effective way to reduce the chances of infection and weaken the virus’ ability to cause serious illness,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins wrote in a blog post. “Therefore, Metrolinx will implement a mandatory vaccination policy for employees.”
Aikins cited the spread of the more contagious Delta variant as a motivating factor for implementing “even stronger measures to ensure as many people as possible get fully vaccinated and are protected.”
“Our staff have been on the frontlines every day since this pandemic began, and I am incredibly proud of the work they have done to keep essential transit services going and customers safe,” said Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster.
“Many of our employees are already vaccinated, but now we are facing a more contagious foe that could threaten the incredible progress we have made to control the spread. Our goal was and continues to be to ensure our teams and our customers have the highest protection possible.”
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Approximately 81% of Metrolinx staff — roughly 2,000 people — are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with another 2% receiving their first dose.
Metrolinx is providing time off to employees to get their shots, in addition to operating on-site vaccine clinics to give employees easy access. Metrolinx also recently transformed two GO buses into mobile vaccination clinics to help get more community members vaccinated.