BC Transit will not be collecting fares or requiring tickets from passengers and require rear-door boarding for the month of April.
These measures were first implemented on March 19th, intended to stay in place for a 30-day period, but has now been extended according to an advisory from the crown corporation.
“The extension means customers do not need to purchase monthly passes or other fares for the month of April,” reads the statement from BC Transit.
“Details about refund processes for March and April fare products will be available when we announce the return to regular fare collection.”
Passengers will continue boarding buses through the rear door until at least April 30th in an effort to ensure physical distancing between drivers and transit users.
Light duty buses that do not offer rear door boarding, used most commonly for handyDART and community transit services, will have vinyl panels installed for drivers.
The company reported 70 per cent less ridership last month due to school, university, business, and government office closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, in addition to annual Spring service changes, BC Transit has reduced service levels on multiple routes and temporarily discontinued late night service on Friday and Saturday nights.
Buses have also started limiting passenger capacity to enhance physical distancing, however they will not be blocking out seats to indicate which seats can be used by passengers to best follow physical distancing directives – a measure that has been adopted by TransLink in Metro Vancouver.
Media spokesperson Jonathon Dyck says this measure will not be adopted as they want to “allow families and those living in the same household to still be together on the bus.”
More information about specific schedule changes can be found on the BC Transit website.
The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19 line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.
As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 1,312,628.
Over 72,600 people have died from the illness and 275,087 have made a full recovery.