TransLink has announced that all fares on its bus system will be suspended indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The move is effective as of March 20. Regular fares for SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express still apply.
The transportation authority also announced that all buses will be boarding from the rear doors only, in order to comply with provincial health recommendations for social distancing and staff safety.
"Given we are promoting social distancing by asking customers to board buses through the rear doors when possible, TransLink has temporarily suspended fare collection on the bus system," TransLink said on a website page detailing its COVID-19 precautions.
"We are taking this step to allow greater social distancing to protect our Coast Mountain Bus Company operators at this time. Customers requiring mobility assistance can continue to use the front doors if needed," TransLink announced in a separate release.
Fares in Nanaimo and Victoria have been suspended for a month.
TransLink also announced cleaning and disinfecting procedures for all its transportation modes.
"Facilities: Stations and bus loops across the TransLink network are being cleaned at least once per day, including a disinfectant wipe down of stair and escalator handrails, elevator buttons, door handles, fare gates, Compass vending machines, garbage handles, benches, seats, emergency cabinets and emergency phones.
SkyTrain: All SkyTrain cars are cleaned overnight and receive a disinfectant wipe down of poles, seats, ceilings, handles, windows, sills, and other surfaces within the cars.
Bus & SeaBus: The entire Bus and SeaBus fleet are being sprayed using a strong disinfectant each week, which comes in addition to daily cleaning schedules.
HandyDART: vehicles are being cleaned and disinfected every day."
West Coast Express: All West Coast Express cars are cleaned and disinfected each evening once they come out of service."