Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney released comprehensive safety guidance for public transit agencies as the province reopens and more people return to work.
This guidance, developed in consultation with health and transit officials, provides transit agencies with the information they need to help protect employees and passengers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Although we are making steady progress to contain the virus, it still poses a serious health threat for everyone, especially our most vulnerable citizens,” Mulroney said. “This guidance for transit agencies will provide consistent, clear, and practical information that transit agencies can use to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep Ontarians moving safely.”
The guidance document provides transit agencies with best practices and tips to help stop the spread of COVID-19, such as maintaining physical distance between people whenever possible, highly recommending that passengers wear face coverings or non-medical masks when taking transit, practicing proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, installing physical barriers between drivers and passengers, using physical markers between seats, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects.
The provincial transit agency, Metrolinx, has identified over 40 actions to help keep staff and passengers safe when riding GO trains, GO buses, and the UP Express. These strategies include:
- Piloting health and safety kiosks that provide customers with tools and advice on how to stay safe.
- Enhanced deep-cleaning processes for vehicles and in stations.
- Providing hand sanitizer on every GO bus and in every station, so passengers can apply during their trip.
- Installing dividers for safety on GO trains and buses.
Metrolinx has also developed a comprehensive educational campaign called “Safety Never Stops” to inform passengers of safety tips on vehicles, platforms, and in stations.
“People must continue to exercise caution when on public transit because physical distancing will be a challenge,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said. “I urge everyone to follow our public health guidelines. They may seem simple, but they are effective in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And if you are worried you have the virus or have been in contact with someone who has the virus, please get tested.”
This guidance is part of the work that Ontario and public health experts are doing to carefully monitor the key public health indicators, as outlined in A Framework to Reopening our Province.