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Union wants masks to be mandatory for OC Transpo riders
OC Transpo is asking riders to consider wearing a non-medical mask on buses and trains (Photo courtesy: Twitter/OC_Transpo)
OTTAWA -- The union representing OC Transpo drivers and maintenance workers wants everyone on board the buses and O-Train to be wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think it should be mandatory that they have to wear masks going on the bus,” said Clint Crabtree, President of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279.
“If the City of Ottawa could supply those masks that would be even better. But I think it should be mandatory that everybody that’s riding public transit wear a mask.”
Crabtree tells Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron that a majority of the bus operators are wearing masks that were provided by the City of Ottawa.
Ottawa’s Transportation Services department will present its Transit Service Recovery Plan to the Transit Commission on June 1. The report will include a recommendation for wearing masks and face coverings on OC Transpo.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Director of Transit Customer Systems and Planning Pat Scrimgeour says “the recovery plan is based on extensive research, federal and provincial guidelines as well as the advice of Ottawa Public Health.”
On Wednesday, Emergency and Protective Services General Manager Anthony Di Monte suggested OC Transpo and the City of Ottawa didn’t want to go down the road to make them mandatory.
“I think it would be commonplace certainly that when anybody enters the public transit system they would probably in the future be wearing a mask.”
On May 5, OC Transpo issued a tweet recommending riders wear a mask while using public transit in Ottawa.
Crabtree says the Amalgamated Transit Union would like to see plexiglass set up to protect drivers on the buses.