TransLink bus riders won’t have to pay bus fares until further notice, as the company moves to ensure proper social distancing on board amid the COVID-19 spread.
Beginning Friday, customers will be asked to board buses using the rear doors only, the company announced Thursday.
“We are taking this step to allow greater social distancing to protect our Coast Mountain Bus Company operators at this time. Customers requiring mobility assistance can continue to use the front doors if needed.”
Other changes being implented include that customers will not be able to use seats close to operators on certain buses nor seats close to crew members on SeaBus vessels. Protection barriers for drivers are being installed on buses that don’t yet have the plastic screens in place.
Staff have also increased cleaning and disinfecting across the TransLink network.
On Wednesday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that while suspending public transit was not currently being considered it also wasn’t off the table entirely.
Health officials have called for continued social distancing – which means keeping at least six feet away from another person – as well as vigorous handwashing and other precautions to slow the spread.
Most importantly: those who feel sick should stay home and away from public spaces.
“As extraordinary social distancing measures are being put into place across the region, TransLink has also seen a commensurate and significant decline in ridership,” TransLink said. “This means there are far fewer passengers using the system, which allows for greater social distancing.”