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Metrolinx makes face coverings mandatory on GO Transit, UP Express

Last Updated Jul 17, 2020 at 3:09 pm EDT

GO Transit signage is displayed on a divider at Union Station in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. GETTY IMAGES/ BLOOMBERG/Brent Lewin

Face coverings will be mandatory for everyone on all GO Transit vehicles and UP Express as of Tuesday.

Metrolinx says with the GTA preparing to enter Stage 3 of the recovery process, it’s the “right thing to do” for the safety of riders and transit staff.

“The wearing of face coverings is another layer of personal health safety that allows us all to cope with a gradual increase in people that will be using buses, trains and stations,” said Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster.

Metrolinx says even though face coverings have not been a requirement, more than half of GO Transit and UP Express customers have been wearing some sort of protective barrier over their nose and mouth.

The provincial transit agency acknowledges that some people will not be able to wear face coverings due to pre-existing conditions, it is asking all its customers to be understanding in those situations.

“In terms of our enforcement, of our requirement of people to wear face coverings, we will focus on education rather than enforcement,” added Verster. “Our employees will help customers on buses and trains if they haven’t got face coverings and we will ensure that no one will be left behind.”

It has been mandatory for Metrolinx employees to wear a face covering across the system since May.

Earlier this month, Metrolinx installed clear plastic dividers between seats on some of its buses and trains. The pilot project has been rolled out on some 30 buses and five trains.