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Fare collection on the HandyDART has been suspended to limit interactions between drivers and passengers, and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
The measures follow a similar announcement for conventional buses last week designed to increase physical distancing and limit person-to-person contact. Fares still apply for SkyTrain, West Coast Express and SeaBus.
“Because HandyDART fare payment can often require close interaction between operators and customers, we’re taking this step to protect operators and promote physical distancing,” TransLink said in a press release Wednesday.
HandyDART has seen a significant decline in ridership since the increase in self-isolation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. TransLink said up to 70% of trips have been cancelled, which means better distancing on each bus.
Customers are also being spaced out on their trips to promote social distancing and operators are supplied with sanitizing kits, which include gloves, hand sanitizer and wipes.
Additional measures are also being taken to ensure the vehicles are clean and disinfected every day.
Read more of our COVID-19 coverage here.