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A cleaner demonstrates how they disinfect the train cars of the Sky Train in Vancouver, Thursday, May 21, 2020. Translink is working to try and provide a safe riding environment for their passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic. TransLink says it has begun to implement its safe operating plan to keep transit secure and available for those who need it.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

The corporation overseeing Metro Vancouver’s transportation network says it is restoring routes, enhancing cleaning and recommending passengers wear masks as B.C.’s COVID-19 restart begins.

TransLink says it has begun to implement its safe operating plan to keep transit secure and available for those who need it.

Service on more than a dozen routes was suspended last month owing to a looming financial deficit, but a deal with the province averted further cuts and TransLink says the suspended routes have been restored.

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A statement from TransLink says service will soon be operating at prepandemic levels to ease physical distancing, while disinfectant sprays will be doubled and cleaning crews will work in high-traffic stations.

Fare gate access will also be restricted at some busy train stations to manage the number of customers on each train.

Passengers are urged to stay off transit if they are sick, to travel at nonpeak times and to wear a non-medical mask or face covering while waiting or on-board trains and buses.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says public health and WorkSafeBC officials are working with all transit agencies to ensure safe travel, but they recognize that staying two metres apart may be difficult.

“We recommend all passengers consider wearing a face covering while using public transit, especially during those instances where physical distancing may not be possible,” she says in the statement issued Thursday.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.

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