BC Transit Coronavirus COVID-19 Information
What are you doing?
BC Transit is continuing to provide transportation services customers can rely on as we recognize people still need to get to work, including at healthcare facilities, or to other activities such as weekly grocery shopping trips.
We place the safety of our riders, staff, and communities as our top priority. We want to assure you we are taking the Coronavirus COVID 19 situation seriously, and we are implementing plans based on advice from health experts. Health Canada and the Province of BC are taking the lead on the response to COVID-19, and BC Transit is following their lead.
We have already implemented enhanced measures in response to COVID-19 including
- Enhanced cleaning on buses and at BC Transit facilities.
- Communication to staff and employees about physical distancing procedures.
- Rear door loading.
- Not collecting fares.
- Limiting passenger capacity to support physical distancing.
We are prepared to implement additional measures, should the situation progress.
BC Transit is closely monitoring the situation and we remain in contact with regional health authorities and other transit agencies in order to determine best practices and ensure our response is appropriate.
How can I help?
We advise everyone to follow the guidelines set out by the Canadian Public Health Agency:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands especially after coming in contact with commonly touched surfaces like handrails, vending machines and poles.
- Stay home if you are feeling unwell.
How are you cleaning your buses?
We have implemented additional cleaning measures for high touch passenger areas on top of our regular cleaning practices. This includes wiping down high touch areas such as handrails and doors with disinfectant. We are also reminding staff of the importance of practicing proper hand hygiene and to stay home if they are feeling unwell. If the situation changes, we have a plan to increase our cleaning practices and other safety measures.
We have also have increased cleaning at our BC Transit facilities across the province.
How can I help protect myself and others while onboard?
Health officials are recommending physical distancing as a response to COVID-19. Here’s how you can help as we work hard to provide your community with transportation to work, school and essential
- Board through the rear door where available (The front door is still available for those requiring the accessibility features including the ramp)
- Leave plenty of time for your transit journey to practice proper physical distancing
- Stand behind the red line to give your driver space
- Be courteous to your fellow riders
- Move around the bus to an open space if available
- Avoid touching your face
- Practice proper hand hygiene, cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm, and
- Stay home if you are feeling unwell
How are you supporting your drivers?
Our drivers continue to work hard to get you to your destination. We recognize they have public interaction and are providing ongoing support including:
- Allowing for increased physical distancing by implementing rear door boarding (where available) and not collecting fares
- Reducing maximum passenger capacity to allow for better physical distancing
- On-road support during their shift and access to a manager
- Enhanced cleaning measures on our buses and in our facilities
- Drivers are advised to stay home they are feeling unwell
- Increasing communication with customers on how to practice social distancing with drivers
Should transit drivers wear masks?
As masks are more effective for containing an individual’s droplets if they are sick, our message to staff is to stay home if they are sick. While health experts do not recommend wearing a mask and ask for those to be left for health professionals, we will not restrict drivers or staff from wearing masks for their own personal wellbeing.
How is your ridership?
With many post-secondary institutions transitioning from in-person classes, businesses temporarily closing or supporting work from home, spring break, and other factors – we are seeing lower ridership numbers than what we would typically see this time of year. We are continuing to provide transportation services customers can rely on as we recognize people still need to get to work, including hospitals, or other activities such as grocery shopping.
We have seen a decrease in boarding of approximately 50% to 70% in systems with automatic passenger counters. Again, we would ask that people please stay home if they are sick, practice proper hand hygiene, and sneeze and cough into their elbow.
If low ridership, why are you not reducing service more?
It is a very fluid situation, and we are monitoring ridership and developments that re coming in rapidly from other businesses, agencies and government. We have already expedited or are working to implement the introduction of our seasonal service changes in Whistler, Prince George, and Nanaimo. Details about these service changes are available on the specific transit system page.
We’re working with other systems to identify opportunities to match service with available resources and demand, while continuing to provide sufficient space for physical distancing. I cannot speculate any further on potential changes, however I can assure you are monitoring the situation and implementing the plans as appropriate.
Should I be taking transit? Is it safe to take transit?
Yes, transit remains a safe form of transportation.
We have increased our cleaning onboard our buses. However, if you are sick we would ask you to please follow the advice of health professionals and stay home. We recognize the Province of BC is recommending social distancing, and we have tips available to practice social distancing on transit. We will continue to work hard to get people to work, and to other destinations such as the grocery store.
Rear Door Entry and Fare Collection
For the next 30 days we are implementing rear door boarding in all BC Transit systems to enhance physical distancing for drivers and passengers.
How to board:
- Enter and exit the bus using the rear doors
- Front doors will be used only for accessible boarding
- Board the bus and find an open space
- Fares and passes are not required
- Use extra caution when boarding the bus
Who do I contact if I have more questions?
- For health related questions, please contact 8-1-1 or visit bccdc.ca.
- For non-health related questions, please contact 1-888-COVID19 or visit BCCDC.ca
- For more information about transit services, please call your local transit office or visit
- Public Health Agency of Canada - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- BC Centre for Disease Control - Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)