WINNIPEG — Winnipeg Transit has officially resumed full weekday service following a reduction in ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CTV News Winnipeg previously reported that beginning on Aug. 2 transit would be returning to its regular summer schedule, with full weekday service starting on Aug. 4.
Jay Shaw, the city’s assistant chief of emergency management, said at a news conference last month that ridership dropped to it lowest levels at the start of the pandemic.
“We saw passenger levels drop to their lowest point during the month of April, when we saw an average of 70 per cent reduction in ridership over the same time frame last year,” Shaw said, adding that transit levels stayed around this mark during the months of May and June with an approximate 66 to 68 per cent reduction in ridership.
He said during the early parts of July, the city saw a steady increase in ridership.
“With those numbers continuing on an upward trend, the decision was made to restore summer transit service beginning in August,” he said.
The city recommends that passengers wear non-medical face masks while on transit, noting this is an option, not a rule.
“Dr. (Brent) Roussin and the province of Manitoba have been pretty clear right now that if you can’t maintain social and physical distancing, then a non-medical face mask is definitely an option,” Shaw said.
Passengers are also asked to maintain a reasonable distance from one another on the bus, use the back door when getting off the bus if possible, and avoid using transit if they have any flu-like symptoms.
President of Functional Transit Winnipeg Derek Koop, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Romeo Ignacio and Coun. Matt Allard will be meeting at city hall at 10 a.m. on Tuesday for a news conference to raise awareness on the recommendation to wear masks while riding transit.
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