You don't need a mask on the TTC, for now

Todd, a TTC operator for more than 20 years, decided to wear a medical mask to work yesterday in an effort to reduce his exposure to pollution. (The Canadian Press)

The union representing Toronto's transit staff wants the city to mandate that all riders wear masks or coverings, but it's a measure the city isn't considering for now.

"The math is straightforward - as more businesses re-open, more people will be taking public transit with less TTC vehicles on the road,” ATU Local 113 President Carlos Santos said in a statement.

Toronto is preparing for all businesses with a street entrance to be permitted to operate curbside retail on Monday, but the union also is also concerned with a cut to transit service which takes effect on Sunday.

Santos says less service could lead to more crowding, which has been uncommon during the pandemic.

But Mayor John Tory didn't endorse the idea for the time being, based on current ridership numbers and measures already taken by the TTC, such as the installation of shields and rear-boarding.

"In the event that ridership changes significantly, obviously that continuous review of the subject of masks or other measures that might be taken, can be and will be considered," he said.

The move has already been taken in several North American cities, including Montreal.

"We're watching it very carefully, route by route, vehicle by vehicle, trend by trend and we will sit together and discuss this again if and when things change," he said.