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Coronavirus: Guelph Transit asking riders to wear masks as bus capacity increases

Guelph Transit says it is returning to normal ridership levels, but asking passengers to wear masks. Matt Carty / Global Guelph

Guelph Transit says it will be allowing more than 10 people to ride the bus at a time, but is asking passengers to wear a non-medical mask or some sort of face covering.

The ridership capacity will return to normal starting Monday after the city announced in March that it was limiting each bus to only 10 people amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

READ MORE: Where to buy face masks online in Canada and how to choose

“As the buses get busy again, physical distancing may not always be possible,” said Robin Gerus, general manager of Guelph Transit. “We’re asking riders to wear non-medical masks or face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The city said face coverings are not mandatory but strongly encourages them.

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Gerus said it’s becoming more common to wear a mask on public transit in other cities, but it’s new for Guelph.

Ottawa and Brampton have made masks mandatory for transit passengers, while Kitchener is asking riders to wear a mask.

Click to play video: 'Brampton makes wearing masks on transit mandatory' Brampton makes wearing masks on transit mandatory
Brampton makes wearing masks on transit mandatory – Jun 3, 2020

“Some riders may not be aware of or understand the latest guidelines from health officials. Some may not have resources to purchase or make a mask, or they have a medical reason for not wearing one,” he said. “Everyone is welcome to use Guelph Transit and we’re asking people to protect and respect each other as ridership increases.”

READ MORE: City of Brampton says all transit riders must wear masks as of July 2

Transit is free until the end of June as service was scaled back to 30-minute intervals.

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The city said as businesses begin in reopen and residents head back to work, Guelph Transit is preparing to resume fare collection and regular schedules later this summer.

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