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With ridership down due to COVID-19 pandemic, changes made to Go Transit, UP Express service

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Day 1 of Ontario government’s stay-at-home order – Jan 14, 2021

With decreased ridership levels due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Metrolinx has announced temporary changes in services to some GO Train lines and UP Express service.

“The latest changes come as COVID-19 cases are rising in Ontario and overall ridership is down by more than 90 per cent,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told Global News in an email.

Read more: New GO Transit bus terminal at Toronto’s Union Station to open in December

She says the agency has also received questions from customers over whether they will need documentation to prove they are travelling for essential purposes.

“The answer is no, nothing is needed,” Aikins said. “But we do ask them to travel for only essential reasons and to always wear their mask.”

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Coronavirus: Police not authorized to stop people randomly under Ontario’s stay-at-home order – Jan 14, 2021

The changes along the the Barrie, Kitchener and Stouffville lines will see buses replace trains on evenings and weekends.

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There will also be reductions in service for UP Express, which connects Union Station to Pearson Airport, Aikins said.

“As Ontario enters a newly announced state of emergency, GO Transit and UP Express service will still run as public transit is an essential service — however public health guidelines recommend travel be limited to essential trips only,” Aikins said.

Read more: GO Transit officially begins operating out of new Union Station Bus Terminal

Metrolinx also made changes in service last year as a result of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Last September, some services were resumed, as trends and demands again shifted, just as some people temporarily returned to work and outings,” Akins wrote.

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