Over the weekend, Metrolinx announced it would be reducing GO Transit and UP Express service amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The transit agency said that new changes will take place starting on March 18 “to align service with demand.”
Its announcement was made after the City of Toronto said it would be shutting down major services as a response to coronavirus, and to help reduce its spread in the city.
But, the TTC remains running as usual.
“We take the health and safety of our employees and customers very seriously. At this time, Toronto Public Health advises that riding public transit poses low risk for exposure to COVID-19 and no change in travel habits is recommended for healthy individuals,” reads a statement on the TTC’s website.
“While we are expecting reduced ridership given March Break and the two-week school shut down, this is a dynamic situation and we will continue to consult with public health officials and advise our customers of any new or changing advice for travel on the TTC.”
On Monday, TTC’s Stuart Green shared photos of CEO Rick Leary speaking to staff during rush hour.
“It was definitely quiet out there, but our staff are working hard to keep Toronto moving safely,” said Green.
#TTC CEO Rick Leary riding the system speaking to frontline employees during this morning’s rush hour. It was definitely quiet out there, but our staff are working hard to keep Toronto moving safely. pic.twitter.com/Av7mu6jp0a
— TTCStuart (@TTCStuart) March 16, 2020
And the TTC spokesperson wasn’t the only one who noticed the quietness on transit.
— andrew woodhouse (@andrewwoodhous4) March 16, 2020
This is TTC Subway at 8:30am. You can’t find space for your feet even in normal days at this time. Low traffic on roads too. Everybody’s staying home. #Covid19 #CoronaVirusToronto #CoronaVirus pic.twitter.com/TUb3NxKUNb
— Imran Salahuddin (@itisimrankhan) March 16, 2020
— Bri Zelinsky (@brizelinsky) March 16, 2020
— Popcorn’s Scratch Pad 🐾 (@Popcorns_Views) March 16, 2020
— Unpaid Transit Influencer (@5151photography) March 16, 2020
And it wasn’t just the TTC that was quiet, downtown streets were also experiencing much lower commuter volume.
Eerie commute this morning. Walked to work and avoided the TTC. Absolute ghost town. This photo was taken at Spadina & Dundas at 8:39 am. pic.twitter.com/ex1jJWcNBx
— Jennifer Evola (@jennevola) March 16, 2020
Last week, the province announced all schools in Ontario would close for two weeks after the March Break and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer’s recommended for “immediate suspension” of all large events and public gatherings of 250 people.