Last updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

We wanted to provide you information regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and what we are doing in response.

The safety of travellers and staff on York Region Transit (YRT) is our first priority. To ensure we are providing the most appropriate safety measures, YRT is working closely with our partners at York Region Public Health. York Region Public Health continues to closely monitor the emerging COVID-19 situation, in collaboration with provincial and national health agencies, and is receiving regular updates as the situation evolves.

We are following the advice from our partners at Public Health and have increased the cleaning and sterilization schedule of our buses, vehicles and facilities. In addition, our contractors are required to provide sanitizers or disinfectant wipes to all drivers.

We encourage you to carry your own personal disinfectant when you travel, such as hand sanitizer or wipes, and wash your hands often.

YRT will continue to monitor the emerging situation and follow the advice from Public Health. We will take further precautions as necessary to help keep our buses and facilities clean and our staff and riders safe.

Effective Monday, March 23: YRT will be reducing service on most routes. We're also asking customers to please board at the middle or rear doors, and stand back from the red line on the bus. Please read our News Item for more details.

Back to Top


Break the chain of transmission

If any of the below applies to you, please return home and contact your family physician, Telehealth Ontario at 1-877-797-0000 or York Region Public Health at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73588 and immediately self-isolate.

  • Recently returned from travel outside of Canada within the past 14 days and are experiencing fever, new or worsening cough and/or new or worsening shortness of breath
  • Been in close contact with someone who has recently travelled outside of Canada and is experiencing fever and/or has a new or worsening cough
  • Been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19

How to protect yourself

Everyone can take the following steps to protect themselves not only from new and emerging diseases but also from the common cold and the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Increase cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces like toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs, countertops using regular household cleaners

Practice physical distancing on public transit

Effective Monday, March 23: Please board at middle or rear doors, and stand back from the red line

In an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and in continued support of provincial action, customers must board the bus at the middle or rear doors. This applies to all YRT and Viva routes. 

Please pay your fare before boarding where possible. If you cannot tap or purchase a ticket before boarding, please pay when you depart the bus at the station or terminal.

In addition, passengers are asked to please stand back from the red line on the bus, as we all respect physical distancing (two metres). If you would like to speak with the driver, please speak loudly.

These changes are to allow additional opportunities for people to demonstrate physical distancing with other riders and transit operators.

 

Please visit york.ca/covid19 for more information on how to keep yourself protected and to stay informed of updates on COVID-19 in York Region.

Back to Top


Frequently Asked Questions

How often is YRT cleaning their buses and facilities?

Our buses, terminals and rapidway stations are cleaned and disinfected daily. Curbside vivastations are cleaned and disinfected weekly.

Buses:

Buses are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at the end of every service day, with a focus on high-touch surfaces such as poles, seats and handles. Buses also receive an additional cleaning every time they return back to the garage throughout the day.

Terminals, rapidway stations and curbside vivastations:

Terminals and rapidway stations are cleaned and disinfected daily, with a focus on high-touch surfaces such as door handles, fare machines, railings and public restrooms.

Curbside vivastations are cleaned and disinfected weekly, with a focus on high-touch surfaces such as fare machines.

What other precautions is YRT taking to keep everyone safe?

In addition to increasing the frequency of the cleaning and disinfection of our buses and facilities, our contractors are required to provide sanitizers or disinfectant wipes to all drivers.

As well, effective Monday, March 23, customers will be asked to please board at the middle or rear doors, and stand back from the red line on the bus. Please pay your fare before boarding where possible. If you cannot tap or purchase a ticket before boarding, please pay when you depart the bus at the station or terminal.

These changes are to allow additional opportunities for people to demonstrate physical distancing with other riders and transit operators.

We are closely monitoring updates from York Region Public Health, and will take further precautions as necessary.

Should I avoid using public transit?

We have increased our efforts in addition to our regular cleaning protocol by cleaning our buses and facilities more frequently and disinfecting high-touch surfaces to help with the protection of our drivers, staff and passengers. We will continue to monitor updates from Public Health and will take further precautions as necessary.

What can I do as a public transit rider to keep myself and others protected?

We encourage you to carry your own personal disinfectant such as hand sanitizer or wipes and wash your hands often.

Everyone can take the following steps to protect themselves not only from new and emerging diseases but also from the common cold and the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Increase cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces like toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs, countertops using regular household cleaners

Where possible, it is recommended to maintain at least two metres (six feet) space between you and others.

Please also visit york.ca/covid19 for more information on how to keep yourself protected.

Should transit travellers and drivers wear masks?

Public Health has indicated that there is no need to wear a mask to protect against COVID-19 if you are feeling well; it is advised wearing a mask when you are well is not an effective measure, and sometimes can actually present risks from touching your face to put the mask on and remove it.

However, for the comfort of the bus drivers and to ensure continuity of transit services for those who need it at this time, York Region will allow bus operating contractors the flexibility to allow their employees to wear masks while at work.

Is YRT installing sanitizer stations or distributing sanitizers at terminals or on buses?

Currently, there are no plans to install sanitizer stations or distribute sanitizers; however, we are monitoring updates from York Region Public Health and will take further precautions as necessary.

Our buses, terminals and rapidway stations are cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis. We also encourage you to carry your own personal disinfectant, such as hand sanitizer or wipes, and wash your hands often. You can read more tips on how to keep yourself protected here: york.ca/covid19

Are any YRT services suspended?

Effective Monday, March 23, YRT will be reducing service on most routes until further notice. Please read our News Item for more details.

Due to school closures, all YRT High School Special (400-series) routes have been suspended until further notice.

With the closure of many schools, municipal and public spaces and more York Region residents working from home, we are temporarily adjusting service levels to meet current customer demands.

Is the YRT sales office at 50 High Tech Road still open?

The YRT sales office at 50 High Tech Road in Richmond Hill has been closed to the public until further notice.

PRESTO cards can be purchased or loaded online at prestocard.ca or at any Shoppers Drug Mart location in York Region.

For further assistance, please call the YRT Contact Centre at 1-866-668-3978 or click on the Live Chat icon at the bottom of this page.

Is YRT considered an essential service?

York Region Transit is deemed a critical service. We will remain operating with modified services and will continue to follow direction from Public Health, and the provincial and federal governments.

Our website will always have the latest information. Please check back regularly for updates.

Is YRT still accepting cash fare?

Cash fare will not be accepted on board buses. As customers are asked to please board at the middle or rear doors of all buses, there will be no access to the fare box. Customers may continue using cash to purchase oneRide tickets from ticket vending machines at vivastations and terminals. However, customers are encouraged to use PRESTO or the YRT Pay app to purchase fares.

Please pay your fare before boarding where possible. If you cannot tap or purchase a ticket before boarding, please pay when you depart the bus at the station or terminal.

Who do I contact if I have further questions or concerns?

If you have additional questions related to COVID-19, please contact Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (1-866-512-6228 for the deaf or hard of hearing).

For medical advice, you may also contact your family physician or Telehealth Ontario at 1-877-797-0000. Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you have any questions or concerns related to our services, please call the YRT Contact Centre at 1-866-668-3978.

Back to Top