Winnipeg to resume regular transit service in August, mayor to give details Friday

The City of Winnipeg says regular transit service will resume amid COVID-19 next month.

In a release Friday the city said it will immediately begin recalling roughly 120 transit drivers and 41 drivers-in-training who had been temporarily laid off due cuts in service because of the virus.

The city says buses will start running on a regular summer schedule starting Sunday, Aug. 2, with full weekday service set to start Tuesday, Aug. 4, following Terry Fox Day.

Read more: Coronavirus: Winnipeg Transit Union calls for return to full service

Mayor Brian Bowman has scheduled a press conference at 11 a.m., and Global News will stream the event live in this story.

Bowman will be joined by Jason Shaw, manager of the city’s emergency operations centre.

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Winnipeg Transit layoffs going ahead despite reopening economy
Winnipeg Transit layoffs going ahead despite reopening economy

The city announced service changes to Winnipeg Transit — and temporary layoffs for hundreds of drivers — April 22.

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At the time the city said Transit had seen a 72 drop in ridership as a result of COVID-19, which they said had resulted in roughly $6 million in lost revenue every month.

To offset the loses, transit services were reduced across the city and, starting May 4, weekday schedules were dropped to what the city called an “enhanced Saturday schedule.”

Read more: Bus driver layoffs announced during City of Winnipeg coronavirus update

The changes meant 221 fewer buses were roads, and the city said 229 permanent drivers and 24 non-permanent drivers would be temporarily laid off as of May 3.

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In the release Friday the city said it is recommending the use of non-medical face masks for every riding the bus or Transit Plus, but added drivers and transit inspectors would not be enforcing the use of masks.

Passengers are also being encouraged to keep their distance from other riders on buses when possible and not take the bus if they’re experiencing flu-like symptoms.

–More to come.

Coronavirus: City of Winnipeg resumes libraries services, recalls nearly 195 temporarily laid off staff
Coronavirus: City of Winnipeg resumes libraries services, recalls nearly 195 temporarily laid off staff

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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