Essentials

What to Expect When You’re Returning to Transit 

Essentials

What to Expect When You’re Returning to Transit 

It’s probably been a while since you’ve plumped your tush on a bus or streetcar or train, but the days right around the corner when you’ll likely be expected to do just that, especially considering many cities are moving into Phase 3 of re-opening. But be prepared, because like a ten-year high school reunion, things are going to look a little different. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continuing to impact the way we commute, you’ll need to be aware of the new rules so you can ride safely and keep everyone else around you safe as well. 

 

Here are five things you can expect the next time you take transit 

Things have happened and keep happening. Keeping up with all the changes to transit is like trying to keep up with how many new rappers have the word “Li’l” in their name. But we got you covered; here’s what you need to know. 

 

1. Wear a mask or face covering while in public  

We all think we’re smarter than the average sixth-grader, but this is one of those times we have to just trust the experts. And the experts advise us to wear a mask in situations where it’s not possible to keep the recommended two metres of distance from other people. This, of course, is especially relevant on public transportation, where there’s a higher chance of being within that two-metre space. Many transit agencies have already made it mandatory to wear a mask on transit. Looking for a mask to wear on your commute? Read our article on where to buy Canadian-made face masks online.

 

2. Some buses and streetcars will be drop-off only 

When busy-ness makes physical distancing harder, bus drivers now have the option to change their bus to drop-off only. You’ll see the LED sign on the front of the bus letting you know it’s full – that means don’t get on. You don’t want to be that person. Side note: you can also use Rocketman’s crowdedness feature to get some insight on just how crowded the buses on your route really are. 

 

3. Board buses and streetcars safely

There was a time when sneaking through the back door could get you fined or, at minimum, some side-eye from other passengers wondering why you’re not paying. That’s not the new reality. On the TTC and BC Transit, cash, ticket or token commuters aren’t required to pay any fare and boarding from the back protects bus drivers from contact with the thousands of passengers they’ll see in a day. If you have a PRESTO card, you can tap as usual. Don’t worry about any paper transfers. The fewer things you can touch, the better. 

 

4. Interaction with fare inspectors 

Be nice to these people. They’re not there to remind you to tap-on because it somehow slipped your mind – they’re actually just helping customers navigate this new reality. If you need help with the new rules or just finding your way around, fare inspectors are your new best friend. 

 

5. Social distancing signs on seats 

No, those paper signs on the seats of buses, streetcars, and trains aren’t RSVP spots. They’re there to encourage social distancing and not have passengers sitting right next to each other. You might also see some caution tape around some of the seats – same deal. Don’t sit there. The TTC, BC Transit, and TransLink plan to install some more formal seat covers in the near future. 

 

Respect the rules and stay safe 

 

There are some other steps you can take to stay safe. We’ve already talked about staying off your phone and about keeping it clean. Listening to some podcasts or music is fine, but try keeping your mouth closed. We know that sounds like a scolding from your mom or high school teacher, but talking too close to people is actually a risk. 

 

Also, how about you just pretend it’s the holiday season and just be extra nice. These drivers are making it possible for you to get to where you need to be and should be celebrated. Maybe a little smile or wave, or just say thank you. Kindness can make someone’s day. And if that’s too much, follow the rules – all of them! That’s a simple way of showing your gratitude. 

 

 

It’s probably been a while since you’ve plumped your tush on a bus or streetcar or train, but the days right around the corner when you’ll likely be expected to do just that, especially considering many cities are moving into Phase 3 of re-opening. But be prepared, because like a ten-year high school reunion, things are going to look a little different. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continuing to impact the way we commute, you’ll need to be aware of the new rules so you can ride safely and keep everyone else around you safe as well. 

 

Here are five things you can expect the next time you take transit 

Things have happened and keep happening. Keeping up with all the changes to transit is like trying to keep up with how many new rappers have the word “Li’l” in their name. But we got you covered; here’s what you need to know. 

 

1. Wear a mask or face covering while in public  

We all think we’re smarter than the average sixth-grader, but this is one of those times we have to just trust the experts. And the experts advise us to wear a mask in situations where it’s not possible to keep the recommended two metres of distance from other people. This, of course, is especially relevant on public transportation, where there’s a higher chance of being within that two-metre space. Many transit agencies have already made it mandatory to wear a mask on transit. Looking for a mask to wear on your commute? Read our article on where to buy Canadian-made face masks online.

 

2. Some buses and streetcars will be drop-off only 

When busy-ness makes physical distancing harder, bus drivers now have the option to change their bus to drop-off only. You’ll see the LED sign on the front of the bus letting you know it’s full – that means don’t get on. You don’t want to be that person. Side note: you can also use Rocketman’s crowdedness feature to get some insight on just how crowded the buses on your route really are. 

 

3. Board buses and streetcars safely

There was a time when sneaking through the back door could get you fined or, at minimum, some side-eye from other passengers wondering why you’re not paying. That’s not the new reality. On the TTC and BC Transit, cash, ticket or token commuters aren’t required to pay any fare and boarding from the back protects bus drivers from contact with the thousands of passengers they’ll see in a day. If you have a PRESTO card, you can tap as usual. Don’t worry about any paper transfers. The fewer things you can touch, the better. 

 

4. Interaction with fare inspectors 

Be nice to these people. They’re not there to remind you to tap-on because it somehow slipped your mind – they’re actually just helping customers navigate this new reality. If you need help with the new rules or just finding your way around, fare inspectors are your new best friend. 

 

5. Social distancing signs on seats 

No, those paper signs on the seats of buses, streetcars, and trains aren’t RSVP spots. They’re there to encourage social distancing and not have passengers sitting right next to each other. You might also see some caution tape around some of the seats – same deal. Don’t sit there. The TTC, BC Transit, and TransLink plan to install some more formal seat covers in the near future. 

 

Respect the rules and stay safe 

 

There are some other steps you can take to stay safe. We’ve already talked about staying off your phone and about keeping it clean. Listening to some podcasts or music is fine, but try keeping your mouth closed. We know that sounds like a scolding from your mom or high school teacher, but talking too close to people is actually a risk. 

 

Also, how about you just pretend it’s the holiday season and just be extra nice. These drivers are making it possible for you to get to where you need to be and should be celebrated. Maybe a little smile or wave, or just say thank you. Kindness can make someone’s day. And if that’s too much, follow the rules – all of them! That’s a simple way of showing your gratitude. 

 

 

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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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