Timmins Transit update - March 31, 2020 
March 31, 2020 - Timmins Transit continues to offer a Sunday Service level to our customers during these challenging times, and would like to stress that this service should be used for essential travel only, meaning those requiring the service to get to and from work, or to secure essential good and services.

Buses are scheduled to depart from the main terminal daily at 8:30 am with the last run returning to the main terminal at 7:30 pm from the east end of the City. Once again, customers are encouraged to check the schedule before they make travel plans.

“Despite a notable drop in overall ridership, we have experienced a recent surge in transit use by non-regular passengers which is likely a reflection of our current ‘free fare’ structure and a lack of things to do and places to go given the closure of various community facilities and programs,” said Mark Jensen, Director of Community & Development Services. “This trend is not unique to Timmins and has been experienced by other transit authorities.”

In order to maintain safe physical distancing between Transit bus drivers and customers, access to the buses were recently restricted to the rear doors. Since the fare collection boxes are located at the front of the bus, fees are not being collected at this time. Similar arrangements have been implemented by many other transit operations.

Staff have reported that Thursday ridership numbers remain at near normal levels, reflecting the continued use of our services by the senior segment of our population – a trend that is concerning to City officials, in light of the current outbreak and that seniors are one of the most vulnerable segments of our population.

“Thursdays have historically been a preferred day for seniors to utilize our transit services for various appointments and to take advantage of discount shopping opportunities,” explained Fred Gerrior, Manager of Transit.

Transit will continue with current preventative measures, including its enhanced cleaning program for its fleet of buses. Also, the use of Timmins Transit for essential travel will be strongly encouraged.

“This will be reinforced through the use of Transit’s automated boarding announcement system installed on each of our buses, appropriate signage and monitoring by staff” added Gerrior. These additional measures will be implemented later this week.

Passengers who require public transport for essential travel are reminded to wash their hands and to maintain a safe physical distance from other riders. In some cases, this may mean customers catching the next bus if appropriate social distancing cannot be attained.

The City will continue to review ridership data, monitor what other transit operations are doing across the province and follow the direction provided by our Medical Officer of Health and the Province. Any additional changes to our services will be communicated via subsequent media releases and through the City’s website and social media outlets.
Mayor Pirie strongly advises that “in order to help reduce the spread of the virus, it is important for the public to stay home and to minimize non-essential travel whenever possible.”
Posted by Heather Duhn On 3/31/2020 at 3:25 PM  

 
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