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Coronavirus: Peel Region announces changes to property taxes, free transit

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Cities in the Region of Peel have announced changes to property taxes and transit for its residents amid the coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday, Brampton transit announced a multitude of changes in the wake of the pandemic, including altering services schedules and cutting ridership capacity in half in order to fulfill the guidelines of social distancing.

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Monday to Friday will see “enhanced” Saturday service, according to the website, which includes “additional service on some routes and earlier morning trips on select routes.”

To keep with social distancing protocols, Brampton Transit listed the following protocols:

  • Bus loads will be limited to half seated capacity to support social distancing practices. This means that once buses are half-full, stops will be bypassed and passengers may be left behind. Every effort will be made to deploy buses to pick up the remaining passengers.
  • On busier routes, articulated buses will be put in place to assist with passengers’ ability to maintain social distancing while on board. This means that Züm articulated buses may be seen on regular routes. Please pay attention to the destination signs on the buses.
  • To ensure there is adequate distance between everyone on the bus, including employees, seats will be blocked with yellow tape and passengers are asked to not sit in these seats.

These changes come into effect on Monday.

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Brampton and Mississauga both announced free transit until social distancing is lifted by the region, effective Saturday.

The release said customers will board from the rear doors, with the exception of customers with accessibility needs who can still use the ramp at the front doors. Customers do not have to pay either.

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Furthermore, the City of Mississauga announced property tax due dates will be deferred for 90 days.

“We have heard from residents and businesses that they are worried and need relief. That’s why we took action yesterday to help them during this unprecedented and difficult time …,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie.

“These steps will provide relief and assistance to our community.”

This means that payments originally due in April, May and June are all pushed back 90 days, however, the city said they must be paid by the end of 2020.

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For those who paid by post-dated cheques, the city said they will not be cashed until July, August and September.

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Finally, the City of Mississauga announced the suspension of parking offences, including on-street time limit (such as five and 15 hour parking) offences and overnight 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. parking restrictions.

All other parking offences must still be adhered to.

“This includes fire routes and accessible parking, no stopping, prohibited parking areas, as well as pay and display/metered areas where payment is required,” the release stated. “This will ensure an adequate level of street parking, traffic flow and to maintain traffic and pedestrian safety.”