What is TransLink’s approach to COVID-19?
TransLink is following the lead of health officials when it comes to our response to COVID-19. We want to remind everyone that we need to work together, and that we need your help to keep the system safe and clean for yourself and those around you.
TransLink is closely monitoring the situation and we remain in contact with regional health authorities and other transit agencies in order to determine best practices and ensure our response is appropriate.
At this time, we have not been directed to make any operational changes, however, we are all taking steps to ensure a high standard of cleanliness is maintained in order to reduce any potential risk of viral spread.
How’s TransLink keeping the transit system clean?
- Facilities: Stations and bus loops across the TransLink network are being cleaned at least once per day, including a disinfectant wipe down of stair and escalator handrails, elevator buttons, door handles, fare gates, Compass vending machines, garbage handles, benches, seats, emergency cabinets and emergency phones.
- SkyTrain: All SkyTrain cars are cleaned overnight and receive a disinfectant wipe down of poles, seats, ceilings, handles, windows, sills, and other surfaces within the cars.
- Bus & SeaBus: The entire Bus and SeaBus fleet are being sprayed using a strong disinfectant each week, which comes in addition to daily cleaning schedules.
- HandyDART: All HandyDART vehicles are being cleaned and disinfected everyday.
- West Coast Express: All trains are cleaned and disinfected each evening once they come out of service.
Social Distancing and Protective Measures on Public Transit
- Consistent with the advice from health officials, if people are feeling unwell, they should stay home and avoid public transit.
- The best ways to prevent contracting or spreading a contagious illness are frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water, coughing or sneezing into tissues, and staying home if you are sick.
- Over the past several days we have seen ridership in decline, meaning that transit services have fewer passengers, which allows for more social distancing.
- We are preventing customers from using some seats on SeaBus to allow social distancing for our operators.
- On certain buses, customers will not be able to sit in seats which are near bus operators.
- Coast Mountain Bus company is accelerating installation of operator protection barriers on all of its buses. Nearly 700 of our buses currently have barriers installed.
- Every Coast Mountain Bus Company bus and vehicle has been supplied with a sanitization kit, which includes gloves and sanitizing wipes for drivers.
If Public Transit Will Be Shut Down
- Transit services are essential for thousands of people who rely on our system to move around the region, including healthcare workers.
- We follow advice from health officials and have been given no indication that shutting down public transit in Metro Vancouver would be an appropriate course of action at this stage.
What can I do?
According to health experts the best ways to prevent contracting or spreading a contagious illness are frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water, coughing or sneezing into tissues, and staying home if you are sick.
We advise everyone to follow the guidelines set out by the Canadian Public Health Agency:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands especially after coming in contact with commonly touched surfaces like handrails, vending machines and poles.
- Stay home if you are feeling unwell.
Where can I get more information?
- BC Centre for Disease Control (@CDCofBC)
- Provincial Health Services Authority of BC (@PHSAofBC)
- Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada (@CPHO_Canada)