Coronavirus: Toronto-area transit ridership and revenue in steep decline during pandemic

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TORONTO — Ridership on two of Ontario’s largest transit agencies is down between 80 and 90 per cent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation that mirrors the experience of many local services said the association representing them on Monday.

Both GO Transit and the Toronto Transit Commission said Monday that their ridership is down dramatically as people work from home or self-isolate during the pandemic.

Ridership on GO Transit, in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, has dropped to approximately 33,000 people per day, a 90 per cent decrease.

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The TTC said Monday it has seen an 80 per cent decline, with 10 million daily riders dropping to 2 million.

Marco D’Angelo, CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association said that transit providers across the country are seeing similar drops in ridership even as their roles become increasingly more important.

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“Looking across Canada, transit operators are facing an impossible choice,” he said. “Do they dramatically cut service as ridership plunges the numbers would justify that. Nonetheless, across Canada we’re carrying … people who are the lifeline during this crisis.”

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The association is asking for $400 million a month in federal aid during the pandemic to keep services running as farebox and other revenue drop.

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