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Calgary Transit to lift COVID-19 seat restrictions on buses, CTrains

Click to play video 'Calgary Transit to lift COVID-19 seat restrictions on buses, CTrains' Calgary Transit to lift COVID-19 seat restrictions on buses, CTrains
Seating on Calgary Transit buses and CTrains will be back to normal as of Monday, Aug. 17, as the city is lifting the COVID-19 capacity restrictions put in place months ago. Sarah Offin reports.

Seating on Calgary Transit buses and CTrains will be back to normal as of Monday, Aug. 17, as the city is lifting the COVID-19 capacity restrictions put in place months ago.

In a Wednesday tweet, the transit authority said it’s relying on the city’s mandatory mask bylaw to keep riders safe.

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Calgary Transit has been tracking mask wearing on trains and buses and have found 95 per cent of CTrain riders are wearing their masks, and 80 to 85 per cent of bus riders are complying with the bylaw.

“We’ve found great compliance with our customers in terms of mask wearing and we’re kind of at the threshold where most of the unmarked seats are taken,” spokesperson Stephen Tauro said.

Tauro said the buses and trains aren’t currently full, but Calgary Transit is preparing for an expected spike in ridership with more businesses opening up around the city and students returning to school in a few weeks.

“It’s not a huge demand on service right now, but we are expecting a slight increase in ridership and I think freeing up the seats would allow us to continue service as is,” he said.

Tauro said the decision was made with the advice of Alberta health officials, and said if need be, the protocols can be changed if cases were to spike in the city.

Read more: Coronavirus: Aug. 1 marks Day 1 of mandatory masks in Calgary

The limit on seating, as well as standing room, was put in place in April as part of the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Calgary’s mandatory mask bylaw went into effect on Aug. 1 and dictates that face coverings have to be worn in all indoor public places and public vehicles.

Public transit riders are still being encouraged to practice physical distancing when possible, practice good hygiene and stay at home if they’re feeling sick.

Read more: Coronavirus: Calgary Transit at ‘a turning point,’ moving to ensure fares are paid

Calgary Transit will also still be sanitizing buses and trains to try to reduce the spread of the virus.

The transit authority also launched its mobile ticketing app MyFare on July 1, making it easier for customers to buy tickets without having to visit an office or touch machines at CTrain platforms and stations.