March 18, 2020

The TTC is making the following policy changes to help the City of Toronto's ongoing efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic:

1. Direction has been given to implement all-door boarding on all vehicles. This will be communicated immediately and implemented over the next 24 hours. Customers should still tap their PRESTO card when boarding a vehicle or entering a station. This change is being made to avoid creating pinch points at single door entry and allow for further social distancing among customers and between customers and operators.

2. Toronto Public Health, Toronto Community Housing, Toronto Transit Commission and the City of Toronto are working together to keep the city's most vulnerable safe. Starting shortly, when community housing clients are identified as symptomatic with COVID-19, Wheel-Trans will transport the patients to a healthcare centre for testing and then to an isolation centre if required. Operators who undertake this work will be outfitted with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as will patients, as outlined by Toronto Public Health guidelines. Wheel-Trans will dedicate vehicles to these trips and will undergo intense cleaning protocols.

As well, in the interim, the TTC is working closely with Toronto Community Housing to help them ensure all of their vehicles are properly cleaned and maintained to the same standard as TTC vehicles.

3. TTC employees who choose to wear their own masks while working will be permitted to do so. The TTC takes the health and safety of its employees and customers very seriously, and is in daily communication with Toronto Public Health (TPH). TPH continues to advise against wearing masks for healthy individuals and has noted that masks may in fact increase risk as they can lead to individuals touching their face more often than necessary. However, going forward employees who choose to wear additional PPE will not be asked to remove it. The TTC has determined that, for the comfort of employees, and to ensure continuity of transit service for those who need it at this time, it will not restrict employees from wearing masks while at work.

Wheel-Trans operators will have access to supplied and properly fitted masks for hospital trips.

The TTC will continue to provide updates as required and more information is available at www.ttc.ca/covid-19. Additional information is also available on Toronto Public Health's website at: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/.

"I want to thank the TTC and its frontline workers for undertaking these changes to help protect the health of our residents and continue providing service at this difficult time. Our frontline TTC workers move our city every day but it is more important than ever that they keep service running so that health care workers who rely on transit can get to work to help people who need it the most right now."

- Mayor John Tory

"The TTC is continuing to follow advice from our Public Health professionals and guidance from all three levels of government. These measures prioritize the safety of riders and TTC employees as we continue to provide essential transit service to the residents of Toronto. Going forward, the TTC will use excess capacity on our Wheel-Trans service to transport high-risk community housing clients to receive care and testing on behalf of our partners at Toronto Community Housing. I would like to thank everyone involved in providing this critical service to the City of Toronto."

- TTC Chair Jaye Robinson

"From the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, TTC staff have been busy performing essential operating and cleaning functions. We know the TTC is a vital service on an ordinary day, but these are extraordinary times and our frontline workers have done extraordinary work to maintain our service and to keep Toronto moving."

- TTC CEO Rick Leary

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