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Our response to COVID-19

TransLink is ready to help our region reconnect safely! As we move into Step 3 of BC’s Restart Plan, we’re ready to welcome our customers back to a transit system that is safe, efficient, and reliable. Customers can ride with confidence, knowing that we’ve taken steps to improve sanitization through our Safe Operating Action Plan. Below are some of the measures we’ve introduced in response to the pandemic.

On this page

    Masks mandatory on transit

    As a result of the latest mandate from the Provincial Government reinstating mask-use in all indoor public places, customers must wear masks while using public transit. This includes while boarding or waiting for transit at any indoor or sheltered stations and stops.

    Exemptions for this provincial mandate include:

    • Anyone with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits the ability to wear a mask or face covering;

    • Persons unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance;

    • Children under 12 years of age;

    • Employees working behind a physical barrier or within areas designated for employees and not for public access;

    • Police, employees, or first responders in an emergency.


    Supporting COVID-19 Immunizations

    We’re doing our part to support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across Metro Vancouver. Visit our Vaccination Clinic map and learn more about our Group Vaccine Shuttle Program and how we are helping our customers and vulnerable members of our community access their vaccine appointments.


    Safety Tips

    Tip #1 – Transit etiquette

    Transit Etiquette

    Stay home when unwell, avoid touching your face, and cough/sneeze into your elbow.

    Tip #2 - Wear a mask

    Wear a face covering

    Masks are mandatory on board transit vehicles and when boarding or waiting to board across the system. See the Provincial Mask Mandate.

    Tip #3 - Sanitize your hands

    Disinfect hands

    Use sanitizer before and after riding transit. We've installed hand sanitizer dispensers at many SkyTrain and SeaBus stations.

    Tip #4 - Active transportation

    Bike as an active transportation

    Walking or cycling are great for your health, the environment, and help reduce congestion in transit and on the road. Visit the Active Transportation Options page for more.


    Alerts & Advisories

    Sign-up for Transit Alerts to receive an email or SMS message whenever one of your favourite routes have changed.

    Trip Planner

    For detailed information on our modified schedules, plan a trip or browse any of the affected routes in our Trip Planner.


    Careful Social Contact

    Starting July 1, TransLink is resuming normal service levels on SkyTrain, bus, and SeaBus. We encourage customers to maintain safe practices and create a safe distance when it is possible to do so.

    Bus stops and station entranceways
    Please stand on the 2 metre spaced decals while waiting to enter SkyTrain stations or for the next bus.


    How We’re Keeping the System Clean

    • Cleaning Pit Crews: We’ve deployed cleaning “pit crews” to disinfect SkyTrain cars at high traffic stations. Pit crews will be stationed at major hubs to disinfect high-touch surfaces on trains during peak hours. Crews will also be on board to clean between stations. 

    • Daily cleaning and disinfecting schedules: Across SkyTrain, West Coast Express and HandyDART vehicles, we’ll be conducting daily cleaning, including a disinfectant spray down of poles, seats, ceilings, handles, windows, sills, and all other high touch surfaces. 

    • Maintaining enhanced bus and SeaBus sanitization and disinfection schedules:  Vehicles and vessels are sprayed and disinfected twice per week, in addition to daily cleaning schedules. 

    • Window policy: We have been closely examining ventilation on our transit system. To allow for more fresh air circulation during COVID-19, we have updated our policy so that customers may open windows on our system for additional fresh air, should the vehicle type and weather be appropriate. We are also testing a new technology called photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) to sanitize the air and surfaces on board certain transit vehicles.

    Ventilation on Transit Fleet

    The ventilation on our buses and SkyTrains allows fresh air to circulate easily through our fleet. Between the multiple air vents, and the doors opening frequently, we’re keeping our customers safe.

    Ventilation on Buses


    Ventilation on SkyTrains


    What You Need to Know

    Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 25, 9 a.m.

    As a result of the latest mandate from the Provincial Government reinstating mask-use in all indoor public places, customers must wear masks while using public transit. This includes while boarding or waiting for transit at any indoor or sheltered stations and stops.

    Exemptions for this provincial mandate include:

    • Anyone with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits the ability to wear a mask or face covering;

    • Persons unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance;

    • Children under 12 years of age;

    • Employees working behind a physical barrier or within areas designated for employees and not for public access;

    • Police, employees, or first responders in an emergency.

    TransLink’s Safe Operating Action Plan makes transit safer for all who use the transit system.

    • This plan will evolve and change over time to meet the needs of our customers as BC's economy re-starts.

    We are maintaining enhanced cleaning and sanitizing schedules on transit.

    • We continue to deploy cleaning pit crews to disinfect SkyTrain cars at high traffic stations.

    • We have increased bus and SeaBus disinfecting sprays schedules to twice per week in addition to daily cleaning schedules.

    • We are maintaining increased daily cleaning and disinfecting schedules on SkyTrain and West Coast Express cars, as well as HandyDART vehicles.

    • Hand sanitizer dispensers are located at selected SkyTrain stations.

    As we begin to increase capacity on transit, we ask customers to create space if and where possible.

    • We’re maintaining 2-metre-spaced decals at some bus stops and station entranceways to help customers with careful social distancing.

    We’re maintaining safety measures to protect our operational employees.

    • Plexiglass or vinyl operator protection barriers have been installed on all buses.

    • We have reinstated our policy to allow bus operators to assist wheelchair customers with wheelchair securement on conventional buses. Bus operators cannot assist passengers with entering or exiting the bus, and customers requiring assistance to enter or exit must travel with an attendant.

    • Stay off the system if you are sick.

    • Masks are recommended while waiting or onboard a transit vehicle and on the transit system.

    • Travel outside of peak times. This is especially recommended for vulnerable people.

    • Allow more time for your commute.

    TransLink will resume normal service levels to ensure transit is available for commuters as BC's economy restarts.

    • Most major modes are now at pre-COVID service levels.

    We have been closely examining ventilation on our transit system.

    • On many of our vehicles there is already considerable air circulation via transit doors repeatedly opening and closing.

    • Our vehicles are outfitted with various types of air filtration systems.

    • We’re exploring new and emerging technologies to see how we can do even better.

    We understand why some customers might want windows opened to allow for more fresh air circulation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we’ve updated our policy so that customers may open windows to allow for additional fresh air, should the vehicle type and weather be appropriate.

    • Not all windows can open and under certain weather conditions it may not be appropriate in consideration of other passengers.

    • Frontline employees have the discretion to open or close windows depending on the circumstances.

    • HandyDART customers may ask their driver for assistance if they are unable to open the window themselves.

    • Customers should always dress for the weather conditions.

    We are not aware of any COVID-19 outbreaks occurring on public transit in Metro Vancouver and according to Public Health the risk remains low.

    Mobility-Aid Devices: Procedural Update

    In accordance with the BC Restart Plan shared by Dr. Bonnie Henry on May 25, CMBC has reviewed the policy regarding securing mobility-aid passengers in forward-facing position(s). Effective Monday, June 21, we will return to our standard practice and, as per the CMBC Operator Policy and Procedure Manual, Transit Operators will apply the appropriate securement CMBC Safety, Training and Operations have developed the following Safe Work Procedure in collaboration with various safety committees:

    1. Before passenger entry, confirm that the mobility-aided passenger is wearing a mask. If the passenger can’t wear a mask, contact TComm for alternative arrangements.

    2. Operator puts on their mask before leaving the operator’s workstation.

    3. Operator applies hand sanitizer before handling mobility-aid device and interacting with passenger.

    4. Ask existing passengers occupying the accessible area to either temporarily disembark or move further back in the bus (if it is safe to do so).

    5. Secure mobility-aid device by following established securement policies and procedures. This includes the application of a lap belt (Conventional) or shoulder/lap belt (Community Shuttle).

    6. Operators should maintain physical distancing of two (2) metres, unless securing/un-securing a mobility-aid device. Avoid face-to-face interaction.

    7. After securing passenger, thoroughly clean hands with sanitizer.

    8. Repeat steps #2-7 above when un-securing mobility-aid device passenger.

    The requirements above are subject to change based on BC’s progress through the phases of the Provincial Health Officer’s Restart Plan (e.g., masks recommended as of July 1 (at the earliest) and masks optional as of Sept. 7 (at the earliest).

    Please familiarize yourself with this procedure immediately. As always, company-issued masks, and hand sanitizer will be available at the Depot/Operations. Should you need access to additional supplies while mobile, Transit Supervisors will carry minimal stock.

    • HandyDART vehicles are being cleaned and disinfected every day, with drivers also wiping all touch points between trips.

    • HandyDART operators are supplied with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which includes gloves, a mask, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.

    • HandyDART operators space customers out in vehicles and conduct single passenger trips in small buses and two-person trips in the larger buses wherever possible.

    • HandyDART customers are pre-screened for COVID-19 symptoms as part of the booking process and are requested to wear a non-medical face covering or mask while travelling if they are able to.

    • HandyDART has seen an 82% reduction in trips resulting in significantly fewer customers travelling on each bus, and therefore greater physical distancing.


    FAQs

    Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 25, 9 a.m.

    We continue to work closely with health officials to do our part to keep our employees and riders feel safe.

    While you are in stations, riding buses or trains, remember these tips to help us keep the system safe and clean.

    • Wear a mask when riding transit. Masks are required on board all transit vehicles, at any indoor or sheltered place while waiting to board or waiting for transit, including stations, platforms, bus stops, bus loops, and bus exchanges.

    • Stay home if you’re feeling unwell.

    • Sneeze or cough into your sleeves, elbow or tissue.

    • Disinfect your hands often using hand-sanitizer dispensers at various hubs across the transit system.

    • Practice careful social distancing where possible.

    • Refer to the safety tips section on this page for more information.

    During the pandemic, TransLink has increased cleaning efforts across our entire system. You can find more information on how we are keeping our stations, vehicles and facilities. Refer to the how we’re keeping the system clean section on this page for more information.


    Resources

    For more information on COVID-19, please see any of the following pages:


    TransLink

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