How TransLink is handling coronavirus in Metro Vancouver

Mar 2 2020, 1:54 pm

While massive crowds descended on Costco and Superstores in Metro Vancouver this past weekend amid concerns of an escalation in the coronavirus situation, Monday morning brought the crowds out once again – this time in the form of thousands of daily commuters who depend on the region’s transit system to get them to their jobs.

And with so many people packed into confined areas such as SkyTrain cars and buses, some have expressed concern that these situations could lead to further spread of the virus.

However, TransLink spokesperson Jill Drews told Daily Hive that at this point in time, and according to health officials, “the risk to our customers and staff remains low.”

TransLink, said Drews, “is following the lead of health officials when it comes to response to COVID-19.”

She also noted that provincial health officials have “not directed us to make any operational changes at this time.”

Still, Drews said transit officials are “working closely with PHSA to monitor this situation.”

For those concerned about the spread of the virus, or other germs as a direct result of taking public transit, Drews provided a breakdown of transit vehicle cleaning protocol.

“BCRTC has trains cleaned every day,” she said. “Buses are spot cleaned every day and disinfected every 30 days as recommended by the manufacturer of the disinfectant.”

Drews noted that for commuters, “health experts say the best ways to prevent contracting or spreading a contagious illness are frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water, coughing or sneezing into tissues and staying home if you are sick.”