Bombardier Inc. says it will temporarily lay off 196 employees working on regional transit services in the Greater Toronto Area due to a steep decline in ridership numbers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company said in an email the job cuts, effective June 21, amount to about 20 per cent of its workforce at GO Transit and the Union Pearson Express.
Both rail services are owned by the Metrolinx transit agency, which contracts out operations to Bombardier.
Bombardier says ridership has dropped by 90 per cent due to the impact of the pandemic, prompting a reduction in service levels.
Commuting has plummeted as confinement measures shuttered businesses, triggered layoffs and prompted work-from-home policies.
Air passenger numbers have also plunged, with international traveller volumes falling 98 per cent year over year at Canadian airports last week, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.