As more people head back to work, TTC overcrowding is becoming an even bigger issue, and the transit agency is out with a questionable stance to social distancing on its vehicles.
The TTC said that as the city re-opens, social distancing will no longer be possible. It shared its response online, replying to a tweet by transit rider, Victoria Pojrazov.
Pojrazov posted a picture of a packed 12-A Kingston Road bus around 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
The tweet from the TTC also told Pojrazovr if she feels the vehicle is overcrowded, she should get off and board the next one.
— Mark Douglas (@Douglas680NEWS) October 14, 2020
“It [the bus] was getting fuller and fuller, and I was shocked that the bus driver didn’t turn people away,” Pojrazov said, “it didn’t seem to me like he was saying anything to people as they came on, they were just coming in, tapping their Presto card, getting on the bus.”
Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, talked about it during the province’s daily update.
“If you’re very concerned, don’t get on the bus,” Yaffe said on Wednesday.
“I realize that may not be applicable or feasible for people. Think about also how long the trip is. If it’s a very long trip, can you keep away from people for as long as possible. If it’s a very short trip, it may not be much of a concern. But I think it’s extremely important that everyone wear a mask,” she added.
Toronto mayor, John Tory, did not care for Yaffe’s suggestion.
“The way in which that particular message [Yaffe’s comments] was conveyed was insensitive and not the best way in which we can communicate to people who are concerned about this,” Tory said.
A spokesman for TTC says in order to maintain physical distancing, there would have to be 100,000 buses on the road.
The TTC currently has about 2,000 in operation.
TTC Spokesperson Stuart Green said it has been warning since June that physical distancing on some bus routes would not be possible at all times on all routes.
“I can understand the frustration, I mean, as I say, our focus is on getting extra service out where it’s needed so that we can reduce crowding where possible.
“But again, you know, public transit is designed to move a lot of people in a very short period of time,” Green said.
He said about 8 per cent of the city’s bus routes are seeing overcrowding issues and they are working on adding service.