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Protective shields installed on Barrie buses; fare collection begins Aug. 1

Barrie Transit has been free since March 20, while riders boarded the buses from the back to avoid contact with bus drivers amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Barrie Transit has been free since March 20, while riders boarded the buses from the back to avoid contact with bus drivers amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Beginning Saturday, the City of Barrie says all of its buses will have protective, plexiglass shields set up between riders and drivers, while fare collection will also start up again.

Barrie Transit has been free since March 20, while riders boarded the buses from the back to avoid contact with bus drivers amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: City of Barrie, Ont., extends free transit, adds more coronavirus safety measures

Moving forward, officials say multi-ride cards will be suspended since the use of them requires both the driver and passenger to touch a piece of paper.

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Officials say city staff are investigating different options for the ride cards.

Riders will still be able to pay cash at buses’ fare boxes and purchase monthly passes from the Barrie bus terminal. Transit passes are also available for sale at Service Barrie on the first floor of city hall.

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Read more: More than $40M to be invested in public transit infrastructure projects in Barrie, Ont.

Under the direction of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, all Barrie Transit passengers are required to wear masks while using the city’s buses.

Children who are under the age of two, or those under five who cannot be persuaded, are not required to wear a face covering. People whose health, ability, culture or religion prevents them from wearing a mask are also not required to wear a face covering.

Barrie officials are asking those who are sick or who have COVID-19 symptoms to not ride public transit.