Bus ridership almost at 'standstill' during P.E.I. red-level lockdown

·1 min read
Mike Cassidy, owner of T3 Transit, says the results from two drivers who were tested for COVID-19 came back negative. (Travis Kingdon/CBC - image credit)
Mike Cassidy, owner of T3 Transit, says the results from two drivers who were tested for COVID-19 came back negative. (Travis Kingdon/CBC - image credit)

Bus ridership on P.E.I. dropped significantly after the 72-hour circuit breaker began at midnight Sunday, but T3 Transit says passengers can be assured the buses are being thoroughly cleaned and will be safe when they decide to hop back on.

One of the buses on the University Avenue route in Charlottetown was identified Sunday as a public exposure site for a recent COVID-19 case. It's not the first time a T3 bus has been listed as an exposure site.

Transit company owner Mike Cassidy said two of his drivers have been tested and both results came back negative.

He said thorough cleaning of the buses has become routine during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue.

"I have seen in the past — and we've got a year here — that we feel that people are still confident to be on public transit and we know that there is a need. We are here to service the need," Cassidy told CBC News Tuesday.

"And, yes, ridership drops in a lockdown, but it comes back after the lockdown."

Cassidy said that before the pandemic last March, ridership was about 3,000 fares per day. It dropped to about 1,500 a day during the pandemic, and fell to about 600 on Monday, the first day of the reimposed restrictions

"People are staying at home, people are not working, people are not travelling, people are concerned," he said.

"Our drivers saw the city and Cornwall and Stratford — everything just collapsed and almost came to a standstill. And that's what happens. And it's effective."

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