As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Ontario, the TTC has announced that those still relying on buses to get around the city may notice a reduction of service this week. The announcement comes after the transit agency revealed that there has been a spike in employee illness. The lack of employees may result in TTC service cuts on some routes.
Public transit officials noted that nearly 15% of its staff has either called in sick or begun self-isolating after coming in contact with the virus.
According to the transit agency, without its full staff present, the TTC may not be able to run full service on every route.
However, they did state that the entire city will still have access to public transit during this time.
"We're doing our best to provide as much service as our resources allow. Many routes are not able to strictly adhere to schedules. Service is allocated with priority to the busiest routes and to ensure all areas of the city have reasonable access to public transit," the TTC tweeted out on Sunday.
Narcity reached out to TTC spokesperson Stuart Green for further comment on the reduction advisory, who noted that the warning is being tweeted out "with some regularity."
ALL BUS ROUTES: We're doing our best to provide as much service as our resources allow. Many routes aren't able to… https://t.co/1hjrAEGFAg— TTC Service Alerts (@TTC Service Alerts) 1585571430.0
"We've seen a 14 percent rise in operations staff, some calling in sick, some in self-isolation and self-quarantine. We are adjusting service to maintain as much service as possible with available resources," Green told Narcity.
Photos of crowded TTC buses began showing up on social media last week, showing a lack of social distancing on many of the city's bus routes.
The transit agency has asked commuters to use their best judgment and avoid boarding packed buses.
They also announced that buses may skip some stops if they are too full to adequately allow social distancing.
A TTC subway operator was reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, March 24.
The frontline worker had worked on Line 1 before being sent home.
The transit agency later assured the public that the incident had not increased the risk to customers, as operators work in cabs separate from commuters.