Signs indicating seats which are closed to promote physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic are pictured on a public transit bus in North Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, May 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. transit agencies encourage face masks, step up sanitizing as Phase Two begins

TransLink, BC Transit will both begin to collect fares again on June 1

Transit agencies across the province are adapting to the ‘new normal’ as B.C. enters Phase Two of its reopening plan.

BC Transit said Thursday that “use of face coverings will be encouraged on buses and at bus stops,” in line with just-released face mask recommendations from the federal government.

In Metro Vancouver, TransLink said riders could “enhance their personal safety and that of fellow passengers” by wearing a non-medical mask. People who do not need to travel during peak times, especially those at higher risk for the virus, are being asked to travel at less busy times.

Both transit authorities have committed to keeping buses well below capacity to help passengers adhere to physical distancing guidelines and have riders enter through the front doors and leave through the back where possible. Both BC Transit and Translink will again begin collecting fares on June 1.

Both have already begun installing plexiglass or vinyl barriers to protect bus drivers and will provide them with PPE, as well as step up current sanitizing measures, including more frequent cleanings and applications of disinfectant sprays.

In a statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province was working with transit agencies to ensure “reasonable” steps are being take to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We recommend all passengers consider wearing a face covering while using public transit, especially during those instances where physical distancing may not be possible,” Henry said.

READ MORE: TransLink returns to near-normal operations after COVID-19 leads to drop in ridership

READ MORE: TransLink, BC Transit to resume collecting fares June 1 after installing new barriers


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC TransitTransLink

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alistair MacGregor column: Standing up for seniors

Across Canada, seniors are scared.

Lake Flashback: Museum preserves future, new hope for a pool, and a murder

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Cobble Hill man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Drivesmart column: The registered owner is responsible

Have you ever stopped to consider the risk involved in handing your keys over to someone else?

Aquatic Centre renovations starting soon

More space promised for crowded fitness and aquatic areas

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read