Grand River Transit will be offering its normal capacity on buses and trains starting next week.

It had reduced capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but will be taking a full load of passengers starting Monday.

While capacity limits on buses and trains will be lifted on Labour Day, but masks are still mandatory.

"The compliance has been very high," said Neil Malcolm, GRT assistant director.

The GRT said it's aware some customers were left waiting on the curb if a bus was already at capacity.

"It's just no fun when the bus goes by full and you have to wait for the next one," transit rider Doug Hawthorne said.

Hawthorne rides the bus every day and hopes everyone follows the rules when buses are back to full capacity.

Along with the capacity increases, certain routes will see increased frequency next week.

"We're going back to close to our normal level of service for the fall, adding more service back into the system," Malcolm said.

Some ION buses and trains will come every 10 minutes between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Other routes will also see buses more frequently. A full list of schedule changes can be found here.

More buses leaving the depot also means more drivers behind the wheel. All part-time and some full-time operators were laid off when during the pandemic due to decreased ridership. But, with full capacity reinstated, all conventional drivers have been offered their jobs back.

"Operators are not required to wear a mask when they are driving, but are required a mask when they are not behind the safety shield and in certain common areas," Malcolm said.

Vehicles are cleaned nightly and there are contact tracing measures in place.

"We might know a vehicle the person has been on and be able to make people aware that someone had ridden transit that had subsequently tested positive for COVID," Malcolm said.

Although buses will be back at full capacity on Labour Day, they will be operating on a holiday schedule that day.