Fraser Valley – A number of communities including the Fraser Valley, are implementing rear door boarding to enhance #SocialDistancing for BC Transit drivers and passengers. Accessible boarding is still available through the front door. Fares will not be collected at this time.
BC Transit will be extending rear door boarding and not collecting fares procedures until May 31. Details about refund processes for fare products will be available when BC Transit announces the return to regular fare collection.
Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun recently said that his City can absorb some of the losses due to the lack of collecting fares while the system remains free. This of course, due to COVID social distancing while fares are not collected at the front door by transit drivers.
In a statement from Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove: The City of Chilliwack supports BC Transit’s decision to extend the suspension of fares for another month. Rear-door boarding helps protect drivers and passengers and better meets social distancing guidelines. The loss of revenue due to the pandemic will need to be accommodated within our financial plan and staff are looking at ways to offset the revenue loss within our current operating budget.
Back on March 30, transit operators started monitoring passenger capacity based on direction from BC Transit operations. This will allow additional space in-between customers, and provide space for people to move within the bus if they feel necessary. With changes at post-secondary schools, primary and secondary schools, businesses and government agencies, BC Transit has seen a decrease in ridership of about 50 to 70 per cent depending on the transit system.
BC Transit does not anticipate pass-ups with this change based on current ridership statistics, and if there are pass-ups they will track the instances through the normal process and make adjustments are required. They ask customers to please leave plenty of time for their transit trip to allow for physical distancing, and thank customers for their patience.
Transit maintenance is trying to make sure that plastic shields are up to protect drivers.