COVID-19: City of Winnipeg response and latest updates on City facilities and services
COVID-19 : Mesures prises par la Ville de Winnipeg et dernières nouvelles sur les installations et services municipaux
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City of Winnipeg

Winnipeg Transit

Keeping Winnipeg Transit safe in light of COVID-19


A bus stopped at Beaumont Station displays text in a digital sign that reads PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING

Masks now required on Transit

As part of our commitment to ensure the health and safety of our residents and employees, effective Saturday, August 29, 2020 the City of Winnipeg is requiring that all individuals wear a non-medical face mask while using Winnipeg Transit or Winnipeg Transit Plus as a means to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. This policy also applies to Transit Customer Service Centres and all other City-operated facilities.

While not a replacement for social distancing or hand-washing, the use of non-medical face masks is increasingly recognized by public health officials as a tool to provide protection against the spread of COVID-19, particularly in settings where social distancing may be a challenge.

Masks or face coverings should not be placed on: any child under the age of two, any person who is unable to remove it without help, or any person who has difficulty breathing.

Employees will be informing residents who are not wearing a face mask that they are required to wear one. However, residents will not be denied service for refusing to wear a face mask. Note, while our primary focus is on education as we introduce these new measures, Transit riders could face a $100 fine for non-compliance. The City may implement enforcement measures if wide-spread non-compliance becomes an issue. We also ask that Winnipeggers not judge others who may not be wearing a face mask, as there are a number of reasons someone may not be able to wear one.

A limited number of face masks are currently available at public City-operated facilities where masks are required. A limited number of face masks are also currently available for Transit riders to pick up at Transit Customer Service Centres and City libraries during regular operating hours.

To be effective, face masks must be worn properly. When face masks are not worn properly, they will not prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others and may also put the wearer at greater risk of infection.

When wearing a face mask, do the following:

  • Wash your hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off
  • Practice good hand hygiene while wearing the face mask
  • Ensure your face mask fits well (doesn’t gape) and covers your nose, mouth, and chin
  • Do not share your face mask with others
  • Avoid touching your mask or face while wearing the face mask
  • If you need to adjust your face mask, wash your hands immediately afterwards
  • Do not dangle your face mask from one ear, or pull it below your nose or your mouth so that it is covering your chin
  • For more information on how to wear a face mask properly, please visit the Health Canada website

Face masks can become contaminated on the outside, or when touched by your hands. Avoid touching your face mask while wearing it, change your mask as soon as it is damp or soiled. While medical face masks can be disposed of following use, reusable non-medical masks must be placed into a bag or washing machine and appropriately laundered on a hot cycle, dried thoroughly, and stored.

Everyone using Transit or Transit plus is required to wear a non-medical mask, except the following:

  • Persons who are unable to place, use, or remove a face mask without assistance
  • Persons unable to wear a face mask due to a mental or physical concern or limitation, or protected ground under the Manitoba Human Rights Code
  • Children under the age of 5
  • Persons providing care or assistance to a person with a disability where a face mask would hinder that caregiving or assistance
  • Persons engaging in tasks or services that require the temporary removal of a face mask (e.g. in order to don a respirator).

The mask requirement for Transit and Transit Plus vehicles has been brought in by the authority of the Director of Winnipeg Transit.

More information about mandatory masks in City facilities and other safety measures in place to protect members of the public and employees is available on the City of Winnipeg website.

Your role in safe Transit

We are asking our passengers to always practice safe social distancing and take the following steps on Winnipeg Transit buses and at other transit facilities:

  • Maintain a reasonable separation between yourself and others.
  • Only use Transit for essential trips, such as grocery shopping or getting to work.
  • If you are sick; follow advice to isolate and do not take public transit.
  • Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose, mouth and chin at all times.
  • Be kind to others who may not be able to wear a non-medical mask.
  • Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands before and after riding transit, and refrain from touching your face.
  • Exit at the rear door if you are able to reduce crowding. Passengers who need to exit using the front door, such as wheelchair users, can still do so.
  • Consider riding in off-peak hours if possible to help make sure there’s space for everyone who needs it.
  • Don’t board buses that don’t have enough room for you to keep a distance between yourself and others.
  • Our operators are covered by shields that are fully deployed at all times to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We ask our passengers to stay back from the shield and to move away from the operator once fare is paid.

More information on the City’s COVID-19 response can be found by following this link.

Our response to COVID-19

As part of our ongoing commitment to the health, safety and comfort of our passengers, we’ve implemented a variety of new measures, including:

  • Requiring passengers and staff use face masks while on Transit or using Transit Plus.
  • Bringing in an enhanced cleaning program, demonstrated in the video below, which sees all buses treated with a hospital grade sanitizer at least once every 48 hours, using electrostatic sprayers aimed primarily at high-touch point areas.
  • Exclusively using buses equipped with operator shields and mandating operators drive with the shields fully deployed.
  • Providing our operators and inspectors with non-medical cloth masks.
  • Displaying digital messages on bus exteriors to reinforce the practice of social distancing and mask wearing.
  • Installing interior ads in our buses advising passengers of how to practice social distancing on buses, and ads illustrating safe hand washing protocols.
  • Continuing to share messages on social media outlining social distancing precautions to be taken by Winnipeg Transit users.

Video: This is how every Winnipeg Transit bus is sanitized