TTC ridership down by up to 60% as coronavirus cases in Toronto continue to rise

Mar 23 2020, 6:52 am

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the city continues to rise, the TTC is taking a hit in ridership.

According to the TTC spokesperson Stuart Green, the preliminary numbers show that as of March 17, weekly ridership is down 50% to 60%.

This means that originally on average there were 10.4 million riders, which generated $24 million, but now it is down to 4.5 million riders, generating just $10 million.

Green also noted that these numbers do not include recent changes around the mandatory store and workplace closures, which were put in place after Ontario declared a state of emergency.

Green said that the TTC is trying to maintain as much service as possible but “we’re assessing and things may have to change.”

Last week, the TTC announced it was implementing operational changes for the pandemic, which included adjusted on-boarding for vehicles on the transit system.

There will be all-door boarding on all vehicles, to avoid “pinch points at single door entry” and allow for further social distancing among customers.

For the buses, individuals can board at both the front and back doors, but if someone is paying with cash, TTC ticket, token, or paper transfer then they should still use the front door only.

All PRESTO card users are asked to enter the bus through the rear doors and tap their card on the reader.

And the TTC asks that anyone who requires the ramp kneeling feature or is travelling with someone as a support person should board and exit the bus through the front door and all other customers should exit through the back door.

The transit system will also no longer be checking for proof of payment and enforcement officers will instead educate individuals on correct payment methods.

As of March 22, there are 220 confirmed cases in Toronto and one confirmed death.

A TTC worker was confirmed to have the virus last week and is in self-isolation.