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Coronavirus: Cutback in GO trains on Kitchener line starts Wednesday

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On Wednesday, there will be a decrease in the number of GO trains travelling in and out of Kitchener and through Guelph, in part, because of the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The move will see trains depart Kitchener for Union Station in the morning at 5:10 a.m., 6:10 a.m. and 7:10 a.m. while return trips will arrive at 5:45 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

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The agency says it is making the changes as a safety measure for both employees and customers.

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“Our key consideration is ensuring our services can continue and our employees and customers are safe,” Metrolinx president and CEO Phil Verster said in a statement. “We want to ensure there is a reliable and sustainable plan for service to continue over the weeks to come.”

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Metrolinx says it is also making the change in response to a decrease in ridership caused by both the coronavirus outbreak and March break.

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A spokesperson for the agency told Global News the 30 to 40 per cent decrease in ridership on Friday appears to have continued its decline on Monday morning.

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“This is a temporary reduction in service,” the agency said in a statement. “Metrolinx has an experienced team that has been fully engaged since January, developing a robust COVID-19 strategy that ensures we protect all of our customers and staff for the duration of this outbreak.

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“The situation is evolving quickly and we continue to monitor and consult with our public health partners.”

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Metrolinx says there will be an increase in the number of buses offered to help offset the decreased number of trains on its tracks.

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