All employees working for Metro Vancouver’s public transit authority, including frontline staff such as bus drivers and SkyTrain attendants, and maintenance crews, will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of next month.
TransLink announced this morning it has established November 29, 2021 as the deadline for when their workforce of 8,300 people must be fully vaccinated and provide proof.
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The policy applies to all TransLink divisions, including the main TransLink administration, as well as the subsidiaries of Coast Mountain Bus Company, BC Rapid Transit Company, and Transit Police.
“We know vaccination is our best shield against this virus and implementing this policy is an important next layer in protecting our employees and customers,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn in a statement.
“This decision comes at a critical time, as more people return to transit. It’s vital we do all we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
In a release, it is stated that the public transit authority will work with employees and unions to “further define its mandatory vaccination policy,” such as providing more information for the small number of staff who may be medically exempt.
TransLink says this new policy aligns with the growing number of governments and public entities who are also mandating staff to be vaccinated, and is an important safety measure as ridership continues to rebound.
Federal government workers must be fully vaccinated by the end of this month or face being put on administrative leave without pay.
Last month, ridership reached its highest since the pandemic began, with volumes returning to about 55% of their pre-pandemic volumes from the full return of students to post-secondary campuses and the gradual return of some office workers. This rebound has been sustained.