COVID-19: Staying safe on public transit
What you can do to help keep the TTC safe
As more customers return to the TTC, it’s important to keep the following TTC travel safety tips in mind.
If you’re feeling unwell, stay home. Cough/sneeze into a tissue. We’re in this together.
Masks or face coverings are mandatory when travelling on the TTC, with some exceptions. This continues to apply to customers that have been vaccinated. When correctly worn, masks should cover mouth, nose and chin.
Sanitize your hands before and immediately after riding transit. You can find hand sanitizer dispensers at the main entrance of all TTC subway stations, inside the paid area. Dispensers are also being installed on streetcars, inside the vehicle near the middle door.
We’re monitoring service and adding more vehicles on the busiest routes, according to demand.
Plan your trip to allow for extra travel time, and try to travel off-peak hours. Check ahead for planned subway closures, and use alternate routes.
Stay on top of the latest COVID-19 information from Toronto Public Health and Public Health Ontario.
In addition to the tips outlined above, it’s also critical to continue to follow the safety and security measures already in place. The following provides you with changes we've made as we adapt to current conditions.
Face masks and face coverings
Starting Tuesday, September 17, face coverings or masks are mandatory in all shared TTC spaces, both indoors and outdoors. This also applies to operators when they are behind the protective barrier or in the cab. All TTC employees have been provided with re-useable cloth face coverings, and additional masks or face coverings are available upon request.
Effective July 2, masks or face coverings are mandatory when travelling on the TTC, with the exception of:
- Children under two years of age.
- Persons with an underlying medical condition which inhibits the ability to wear a mask or face covering.
- Persons who are unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance.
- Additional accommodations in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code will also be considered.
The TTC will not be enforcing the use of masks or face coverings. Customers who do not have a mask or face covering will still be permitted to board TTC vehicles. Not all medical or other conditions are visible.
*TTC By-law No. 1, s. 3.13(a)
These face coverings are required as a safety precaution as more customers return to the system and physical distancing becomes more challenging. Learn more about face coverings, including how to create a no-sew face mask.
To support our customers in this change we have been distributing one million non-medical masks. Half of the masks were distributed to TTC customers in the community through a partnership with the City of Toronto Poverty Reduction Office and affiliated agencies. The other half are being distributed by TTC employees through a rotating campaign in TTC stations, in Wheel-Trans and at high traffic bus interchanges.
Travelling in a bus
- Customers can board TTC buses through both the front and rear doors.
- Customers paying by cash, TTC tickets or tokens should board through the front doors and obtain a transfer as their Proof-of-Payment. Customers paying by PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket can board the bus through either the front or rear doors.
- Customers can take a transfer from the elastic on the side of the operator’s barrier door. The plastic transfer sleeve will be installed on the side of the operator’s barrier on all buses and inside the door of Community Buses. If you are unable to take a transfer from the elastic, please ask the operator for assistance.
- PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket customers must tap their PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket every time they board a bus or streetcar on the street or enter a subway station. Tapping deducts their fare, validates their two-hour transfer or verifies their monthly pass.
- We have redeployed extra buses on our busy routes and have assigned supervisors to monitor the flow and address crowding.
Windows on buses remain unlocked
TTC bus windows will remain unlocked in order to allow fresh air to enter the vehicle. These are tip-in windows that can be opened by customers for their comfort. Air conditioning and/or heating will continue to operate however it may be slightly less effective since windows may be opened.
Travelling in a streetcar
- You must pay your fare by cash, TTC ticket, token or with a PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket when you board the streetcar.
- If you are paying by cash, TTC ticket or token, you can still use the Fares and Transfers Machines. If you are paying with a PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket, you must tap your card or ticket on a reader when you board a vehicle.
Travelling in a Wheel-Trans bus or contracted sedan taxi
- Cash fares, TTC tickets or tokens are not being accepted on Wheel-Trans and contracted sedan taxis at this time.
- Customers must pay with a PRESTO card or PRESTO ticket.
- Customers will not be refused a trip if they do not have a PRESTO card or PRESTO ticket, nor will they be marked no fare paid during this time.
Entering a subway station
- You must pay your fare by cash, TTC ticket, token or with a PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket when you enter the station.
- If you don't have a PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket you can purchase one from the Fare Vending Machine at all stations.
- If you purchase a card, you can load it with money at these machines as well. All PRESTO cards are automatically set to deduct an adult fare, if you are a senior, youth, or post-secondary student, you must take your card to a Shoppers Drug Mart location, along with your government issued identification or TTC post-secondary photo card so that your PRESTO card can be reset to deduct your specific fare type.
- If you do not have a paper transfer, because you've arrived on a bus directly into the station, that's ok. You will not receive a fine. Our Fare Inspectors are out across the system assisting with customer service.
Seat barriers on buses, streetcars and subways
Several seats on buses, streetcars and subways have been blocked off to allow customers to continue to practice safe physical distancing while travelling on the TTC.
These seat restrictions are guidelines to promote physical distancing. Customers travelling with members of the same household or with a support person may sit together.
Follow advice from Toronto Public Health
Toronto Public Health recommends that we all continue to use the following infection prevention measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill
- Stay home when you are ill
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
- If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- When possible, consider social distancing (ideally 2 metres).
- As soon as possible or when you reach your destination, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.