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B.C.’s top doctor hints at changes to public transit to promote social distancing

Click to play video: 'TransLink makes major changes to Metro Vancouver bus operations due to coronavirus pandemic' TransLink makes major changes to Metro Vancouver bus operations due to coronavirus pandemic
Facing a major drop in passenger traffic, and due to fears of coronavirus transmission, TransLink is now asking bus passenger to board through the back doors. Bus fares are also no longer being collected. Catherine Urquhart reports – Mar 19, 2020

B.C.s’ top doctor has hinted at possible changes to public transit in the province due to the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Bonnie Henry is calling on TransLink and other transit agencies to impose regulations to limit the amount of people on buses and SkyTrain.

Click to play video: 'Challenges of social distancing during coronavirus pandemic' Challenges of social distancing during coronavirus pandemic
Challenges of social distancing during coronavirus pandemic – Mar 18, 2020

“This is an essential service for many people,” Henry said during a Wednesday press conference.

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“There are things we can do in our transportation systems, things like minimizing the number of people on cars or regulating the number of people in a bus.”

READ MORE: B.C. declares state of emergency in response to coronavirus pandemic

Later, TransLink said in a statement that it is following the advice of health officials.

It says has gone over measures with Dr. Henry that include preventing passengers from sitting near drivers on some buses; increasing cleaning of buses and trains; and launching an awareness campaign to promote hygiene and social distancing.

Full coverage of the coronavirus in B.C.

TransLink adds that transit services have had fewer passengers in recent days due to the pandemic, allowing for more social distancing.

The Coast Mountain Bus company has already installed barriers on nearly 700 buses, and is adding more.

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