TORONTO -- The Toronto Transit Commission has implemented new rules as of Tuesday in response to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

About a week after implementing all-door access to buses to “avoid creating pinch points at single door entry” and to help encourage social distancing, the transit agency changed its rules.

Passengers will now have to board the bus from the back doors if the accessibility ramp is not needed.

“This change, made in consultation with ATU Local 113, allows for greater social distancing while minimizing potential contact with operators,” the transit agency said in a news release Monday night.

“TTC operators have also been instructed to keep their protective barriers closed at all times.”

The TTC also announced that it will no longer accept payments by cash, tickets or tokens on their buses (excluding Wheel-Trans).

“This move is being made to prioritize the health and safety of our employees and customers,” TTC CEO Rick Leary said. “We continue to focus on physical distancing, social equity and ensuring we match capacity to demand.”

Over the past week, daily PRESTO taps indicated ridership declined by more than 70 per cent as compared to a typical early March weekday.

Due to the decline in ridership, TTC said it will make the following changes:

  • All 900-series Express routes are reallocated as needed, except for 900 Airport Express, 903 Kennedy-Scarborough Centre Express and 927 Highway 27 Express.
  • All 140-series Downtown Express routes are reallocated as where needed.
  • 176 Mimico GO and 508 Lake Shore service is reallocated as needed.

Regular bus services will continue to run along express routes that are suspended, the agency said.

The TTC said it has also extended the deadline for PRESTO card customers to cancel their 12 month pass for April. People now have until 11:59 p.m. on Friday.