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Transit to reintroduce fares; parking to be enforced

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After almost two months of free fares on North Bay Transit, the City says they plan to reintroduce the fees on June 15.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, parking enforcement was eased and transit fare temporarily suspended as non-essential businesses were shut down. Rear-door boarding of buses was also introduced to help protect drivers and the public.

City officials say that buses have now been installed with plexiglass barriers to separate drivers from passengers. That means fares can be collected in a safe manner and front-door boarding will be able to resume.

“We have remained committed to providing city-wide transit throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Fares were suspended back in March to limit interactions and help protect our employees and riders,” said Councillor Chris Mayne, Chairman of Infrastructure and Operations. “These new measures will allow us to return to a more usual way of operating while continuing to protect against the spread of COVID-19.”

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Officials add that there will still be some restrictions in place. The number of passengers will be limited to 15 in order to ensure sufficient space for physical distancing, and frequent cleaning and sanitization will continue.

The re-introduction of fares will apply to both transit and para buses, with passes to be made available for purchase at the terminal on Oak Street.

City officials say that parking enforcement will also resume as more businesses start to reopen. In the Downtown, one-hour of free, on-street parking or two hours of free parking will still be available in Lot  2 (Oak Street) or Lot 4 (Parking Garage).

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