New changes are coming to the TTC starting Thursday as the Toronto transit agency returns to all-door boarding and cash payment options.
The transit agency made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday, saying that while masks and face coverings will be mandatory for customers and staff other rules enforced due to COVID-19 will loosen up.
“We’re bringing all-door boarding [back] to our bus network. So on all buses, you will be able to board and exit from the front and the back," TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said.
Green said that customers will also be able to, once again, pay using cash, TTC tickets or tokens and will now be able to obtain a transfer as their proof-of-payment.
The transit agency says that masks and face coverings will also soon be mandatory on the TTC, except for children under the age of two and people with underlying health conditions who cannot wear a mask.
"We just want everyone to understand and appreciate the value of wearing those masks and face coverings in order to control of the COVID-19 virus," Green said. "So what we ask is that anyone who can wear a mask, wear a mask."
Green said that the TTC will not be strictly enforcing the new mask rule, and asks that people not "police" those who cannot wear one.
"For the short term and medium term, we won’t be doing strict enforcement. Really we just want people to get that message ... Nobody will be refused a ride. There are reasons why people can’t wear a face covering and we appreciate that," Green said.
"We also ask people to respect the people who cannot wear face coverings. It’s not really up to people to police others. They can police themselves but please don’t police others. There are probably reasons why people aren’t wearing masks."
Green said that other cities that have made similar rules have seen a 90 per cent compliance without having to carry out strict enforcement.
Changes to riding the TTC effective July 2:
- All door boarding
- Cloth masks/face covering mandatory for customers and staff
- Cash, TTC ticket and token payment returning on buses (paper transfers will be available)
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"We think that’s going to be true of Torontarians. We know Torontarians will do the right thing and we have every expectation that they will," he said. "We hope not to go down the road of heavy-handed enforcement."
Green said that the TTC has one million masks to hand out to riders who come to stations and buses without masks, and need one.
"We've given away about close to 10,000 a day for the first few days that we’ve been giving those away so we will continue to do that just to remind people [and] encourage them."
The City of Toronto announced on Tuesday that masks will be mandatory inside enclosed public spaces starting next week.