Coronavirus: Hamilton transit riders will be required to wear masks as system ramps up capacity

Hamilton buses will be returning to two-thirds their regular capacity starting June 22. City of Hamilton

The city will be requiring passengers to wear face masks and ramping up the number of people allowed on Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) buses at one time as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues.

As of June 22, emergency operations director Paul Johnson says HSR buses will be increasing the number of riders to two-thirds of their normal capacity.

In order to move people around this city, Johnson says, “it’s just not possible for us, for a long period of time, to run buses with only 10 people on them.”

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Along with increasing the number of riders, Johnson says the wearing of non-medical masks by HSR passengers will be “mandated” as of June 22.

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However, he adds the city won’t be enforcing that requirement or denying anyone a ride on the HSR if they don’t comply, and there are exemptions to the rule for children under two and people with breathing problems.

Johnson made the announcement during the Hamilton emergency operations centre’s COVID-19 update on Tuesday afternoon.

Johnson indicated that a date for resuming fare collection on the HSR will be announced in the coming week.

Fare collection has been suspended during the pandemic, as passengers have been directed to enter buses from the rear doors.

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