Metrolinx suspends unvaccinated employees, resulting in 89 bus trip cancellations Monday

Metrolinx suspends unvaccinated employees, resulting in 89 bus trip cancellations Monday-Milenio Stadium-Ontario
Metrolinx has placed a number of employees on unpaid leave for not disclosing their vaccination status. As a result, the GTA transit agency has been forced to cancel several bus trips and customers are being urged to check their schedules. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Metrolinx has suspended a number of employees who aren’t fully vaccinated, and now says the resulting staff shortage has forced the cancellation of a number of GO bus trips.

On Monday, 89 bus trips were cancelled as its COVID-19 vaccine mandate took effect. Metrolinx says the number represents approximately six per cent of daily bus trips.

The transit agency serving the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area says a “limited number” of bus trips will be cancelled, but didn’t list which ones. It also said some “intermittent train trips” could be cancelled.

Customers are being urged to check their schedules all week or sign up for GO alerts.

Employees at the agency had until Nov. 1 to get vaccinated, provide a medical exemption or be placed on leave without pay. Those who aren’t vaccinated have been placed on unpaid leave.

Spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said Metrolinx was gathering final numbers Monday but estimated that between two and three per cent of of its 4,600 employees were on leave.

She said 97 per cent of employees had shared their vaccination status as of Friday, with 95 per cent saying they are fully vaccinated, 2.6 per cent partially vaccinated and two per cent were unvaccinated.

Aikins said cancellations are likely to continue throughout the week and customers should check for service updates.

Last week, the Toronto Transit Commission announced it was going to reduce the service on some routes as well due to a worker shortage caused by its vaccine mandate.

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