Governments around the world are responding to an outbreak of COVID-19, or Coronavirus, a new respiratory disease that has spread to multiple countries, including Canada. The Canadian transit industry has learned a lot about managing a pandemic-type crisis since SARS and H1N1 – two past global viruses – and how important it is to communicate to staff and customers early, openly and frequently.
As the situation develops rapidly, CUTA is stepping in to provide our members with context and information on COVID-19 management. The resources below provide guidance on best practices for public transit operators during a pandemic.
Do you have any resources or information to contribute? Please submit any relevant documents using this Dropbox link. Help us support the Canadian transit industry during this difficult time by sharing your best practices and resources.
Support for the transit industry
As CUTA members continue to grapple with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, and as transit systems strive to maintain operations during challenging times, the association has developed a series of asks of the federal government to provide emergency funding to keep front-line services running for essential workers.
In a letter sent to the federal government on Monday, March 30, CUTA urged the federal government to work with the provinces and territories to:
- Provide $400 million per month in funding to replace lost farebox revenues for transit systems, and urgently look to support transit systems that have lost non-farebox revenues.
- Provide access to up to $1.2 billion in emergency relief funding for transit systems that will face liquidity challenges in the coming weeks and months.
- Place transit systems on the priority list for procurement of cleaning agents, disinfectants and PPE equipment for operators, and reimburse transit systems for the costs of these unforeseen expenses once the pandemic is over.
- Make strategic investments in transit infrastructure to support the jobs, R&D spending and supply chains that will underpin the post-pandemic recovery. In this regard, approve all pending ICIP projects without delay, provide extensions to the PTIF phase 1 deadline for project proponents, and lock-in the permanent transit fund with proposed annual investments of up to $3.4 billion per year and consider bringing the launch of this fund forward.
CUTA is working with the federal government to raise awareness of our industry’s plight and is contacting provincial and territorial governments to ensure we gain access to the funding support we need to keep this vital service running for Canadian communities.
COVID-19: Federal government stimulus
Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has taken measures to contain the virus and flatten the curve. While these measures are critical for Canadians, the economic strain and impact on families, small and medium businesses is noticeable. As a result, the government of Canada has taken steps to address these ongoing issues by announcing several stimulus packages. CUTA has been tracking these announcements as they relate to COVID-19.
COVID-19 federal government stimulus announcements:
Additional support for indigenous peoples living in urban centres and off reserve- Prime Minister, RT. Hon. Justin Trudeau, May 21 2020
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance now open for application- Prime Minister, RT. Hon. Justin Trudeau, May 25 2020
Tackling COVID-19: Blog series
COVID-19 has had drastic effects on public transit operations around the world. However, this pandemic has also shown transit’s ability to come together in times of crisis and support one another. To continue to showcase the incredible work being done by members to combat this virus, CUTA has established a blog series on ‘Tackling COVID-19’. Click below to read our first submission from Spare.
Interested in contributing to this series? Contact McCartney Lee today.
COVID-19 LinkedIn resource group
We encourage you to share your knowledge and experiences with fellow CUTA members using this platform. Together, we’ll ensure public transit continues to keep our communities moving.
This group is intended for Transit System Members only.
COVID-19: Social media toolkit
To support our ask of the federal government, CUTA has developed social media posts that can be shared by CUTA members. Supporting our messaging through social media is a great way to increase the visibility of our ask with the federal government, and we encourage all CUTA members to take advantage of the proposed tweets below. Help us help transit.
Upcoming CUTA meetings
The following recurring CUTA meetings are only open to transit system members.
If you would like to attend for one of the below meetings, please email Winnie Tong to request a registration link.
COVID-19: Urban rail and bus stakeholders meeting – June 2, 2020
COVID-19: Specialized transit meeting – June 3, 2020
COVID-19: Innovative solutions for public transit
Public transit systems across Canada are diligently working to combat COVID-19 and have begun to adopt new strategies to continue to keep this essential service open for front-line workers.
As the industry responds to this unprecedented global event, the public transit community has come together to support one another in the face of this pandemic. CUTA members have established resource hubs full of info, detailed contingency plans, and frameworks for how to prepare for when the virus has run its course. To provide a medium for CUTA members to showcase their solutions in the face of COVID-19, we have invited members to present strategies via webinar.
If participating in future COVID-19: innovative solutions webinars interests your organization, please fill out CUTA’s webinar speaker application.
Resources for public transit
Webinar: How much will COVID-19 Affect Travel Behavior - TRB, June 1, 2020
When The Economy "Re-Opens", Whar Will It Take For People To Come Back? - Abacus Data, May 6, 2020
Webinar: Restarting Public Transport After The Lockdown - UITP, May 14, 2020
NFI Parts Expands Clean and Protect Product Line - NFI Parts, May 11, 2020
Dentons Return to Work Employer Toolkit - Dentons, May 4, 2020
Public Transit Workplace Sanitary Standards Guide-Covid-19 - CNESST, May 11, 2020
- Webinar: Restoring and Reimagining Transit Service in a Pandemic-Transformed World - APTA, June 4, 2020
- Launch a public transit response to COVID-19 with Spare within 48 hours - Spare, April 2020
- COVID-19 Pandemic: Resuming Public Transport Services Post-Lockdown - UITP, April 2020
- Webinar replay: From caution to encouragement- challenges for passenger communication - UITP, April 23, 2020
- Helping Transit Agencies Create A Covid-19 Exit Strategy At No Cost - Optibus, April 21, 2020
- Public transportation responds: safeguarding riders and employees - APTA, April 13, 2020
- Public safety webinar series - Esri, April 15, 2020
- Webinar replay: Responding to COVID-19: Resources and GIS Solutions for Emergency Managers - Esri, April 7, 2020
- COVID-19: Transportation Response Center - NACTO, April, 2020
- Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Public Safety Canada, April, 2020
- COVID-19 transit operations: Public transit responses to Coronavirus situation - WSP, March, 2020
- Trapeze Helps: Managing through COVID-19 - Trapeze, March 2020
- COVID-19 Global Labor and Employee Tracker - Dentons, March, 2020
- Washbots Canada capabilities in response to COVID-19 - Washbots, March 2020
- Tips to implement contingency plans - GIRO, March, 2020
- How coronavirus is disrupting public transit - Transit, March, 2020
- Resources for transit agencies responding to coronavirus - Transit, March, 2020
- Solution de Transport à la Demande en situation d’urgence (French only) - CityWay, March, 2020
- Helping Transit Agencies Prepare for COVID-19 With No-Cost Contingency Plans - Optibus, March 12, 2020
- Summary: A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response – APTA, March 2020
- Public Transit Response to Coronavirus or COVID-19 – APTA, March 2020
- Management of COVID-19: Guidelines for Public Transport Operators – UITP, February 2020
- COVID-19: Pandemic Preparedness for Business - Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- Calling all suppliers – Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - Public Works and Government Services Canada
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak updates - Public Health Agency of Canada
- National Emergency Strategic Stockpile - Public Health Agency of Canada
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