The Ontario government is working with transportation agencies and providers to support the Stay-At-Home Order and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Using tools like provincial network signs and transit communications systems, the province is reminding drivers and transit passengers, such as GO Transit, Ontario Northland, intercommunity buses and ferries, to only leave home when necessary to pick up essential items, attend a medical appointment, exercise or go to work if you can’t work remotely.
“We are asking everyone to help contain this deadly virus by simply staying home as much as possible and following the public health guidelines,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “We know people have made tremendous sacrifices so far during this pandemic, but with vaccines now available, there is hope that we will soon be able to return to a normal life. But until everyone is immunized, please stay home, stay safe and save lives.”
To support the Stay-At-Home Order, customers on Ontario Northland will receive a reminder when booking travel to stay home and only travel when necessary. This is in addition to safety messages on 210 signs across the provincial highway network, 20 ONroute locations and on Wolfe Island and Glenora ferries and terminals. The province is also working with municipal transit providers to remind passengers of the Stay-At-Home order.
“Public transit systems across Ontario have gone to great lengths throughout this pandemic to provide safe and efficient travel, particularly for our frontline workers who rely on transit to get to where they’re needed most,” said Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA). “Although our public transit systems continue to operate, our strong message to the general public is to stay home and avoid travel unless it is absolutely necessary.”
The province is also working with its transportation agencies to revise services to meet customer demand while still ensuring safe travel for passengers and employees. Starting January 23, 2021, GO Transit is temporarily replacing select GO train service with buses and reducing service on UP Express. Ridership on GO Transit and UP Express has decreased by more than 90 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The health and well-being of Ontarians is our top priority. That’s why we have taken urgent action to introduce additional public health measures in response to the new spikes in COVID-19 cases,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Under these measures, everyone across the province must stay home to limit contact with those outside of their household and stop the spread of this deadly virus.”