OTTAWA -- OC Transpo is implementing rear door boarding on buses, stopping the collection of cash fares and paper transfers and increasing cleaning of buses, trains and stations.

Transportation Services General Manager John Manaconi announced a number of measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In a memo to Councillors, Manconi says OC Transpo is taking steps to respond to the crisis and protect the safety of operators and customers.

Rear door boarding

Starting today, OC Transpo is implementing rear door boarding on all conventional buses. The measure has been instituted in other European Transit Agencies.

Manconi says all customers must use the rear door only to board and disembark all buses. Customers with accessibility needs can continue to board at the front of the bus.

OC Transpo will no longer be accepting cash fares or paper transfers from customers boarding at the rear of the bus. Manconi says some customers will not be able to tap their Presto cards due to the configuration of some of the buses in the fleet.

Manconi tells customers that OC Transpo anticipates the policy to have all passengers board at the rear of the bus “will result in some loss in revenue.”

“We believe that the potential loss of revenue associated with this change in practice is a necessary cost to protect the safety of our staff and customers.”

On buses, tape will be installed to separate the operator cab and accessible seating areas from the rest of the bus.

Bus operations

OC Transpo has implemented enhanced cleaning of all conventional bus operator cabs, including daily wipe downs with anti-viral disinfectant.

Customer areas on the buses will receive sanitizing on handrails, stanchion posts including stairwells.

Rail operations

Manconi says the contractors for both the Confederation Line and the Trillium Line have brought in additional cleaning staff and are committed to  enhancing cleaning of both stations and rail services.

OC Transpo says every rail vehicle is going into service with every surface from floor to ceiling cleaned and disinfected, including operator cabs.

The cleaning of rail stations on the Confederation Line is also being enhanced with additional staff day and night.

Manconi says overnight deep cleaning will focus on disinfecting all touched surfaces, including vending machines, handrails, doorknobs/handles, elevators, escalators, washrooms, glass and floors.

Para Transpo

OC Transpo says the scheduled cleaning of Para Transpo vehicles is being enhanced to include daily sanitizing of the operator area and the cleaning of common customer touch points such as handrails, windowsills, floors and ceilings.