TTC vehicles filled with riders during pandemic

Riders worry about crowding and mask wearing

TTC bus
A TTC bus stops to pick up passengers in the Malvern area. Sanjeevan Kandasamy/Toronto Observer

Despite the Toronto being in lockdown and COVID-19 cases surging during the second wave, TTC vehicles are filled with riders, causing some Torontonians to worry.

“The TTC is safe but we understand people may be uncomfortable,” TTC spokesperson Stuart Green says.

The TTC has taken steps to help ensure the safety of customers and employee, Green says. One such step is making sure buses are at a maximum capacity of 25 people or half full. When a vehicle reaches that capacity, the TTC tries to make sure everyone is spread out as much as possible.

Other rules the TTC has implemented rules since last summer include requiring masks wearing and reserving every other seat.

As a result, Green says, no cases of COVID-19 have clearly been spread from the TTC, and it is safe even though some riders may be worried.

Even with the rules in place, however, vehicles are filled with riders and some without masks. The overcrowded vehicles are making some a little nervous.

Viviana Romero, a TTC rider, said she is dependent on the TTC to get to work. With COVID cases at an all-time high, it scares her to know she has to ride the bus with others, but she knows many people cannot do anything about it as it is their only way of transportation.

Even though masks were made mandatory while riding the TTC, if a customer boards a vehicle without a face covering, they will still be allowed to enter, according to the TTC website. This is because some people may have medical conditions that prohibit them from wearing masks.

Some riders feel though that people may use this as a loophole for getting out of wearing masks.

“A lot of people on the bus don’t have masks on,” Romero says. It’s hard for to believe that all the people on the bus without face coverings really do have a medical issue, she says.

She also says she understands people can’t be questioned for not wearing a mask but she hopes they will be honest for the sake of everyone’s safety.

Green says audits by the TTC show most of the people are following the rules.

According to the TTC website, more than 400 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

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Posted: Feb 8 2021 10:27 am
Filed under: News