Brampton bus service suspended after COVID-19 outbreak linked to Amazon warehouse

Brampton Transit suspended service to the Steeles West Corridor from Wednesday, March 10 after 9 of its transit drivers working the route had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown told the media that a transit route will be temporarily suspended as a large number of bus drivers are undergoing COVID-19 testing following a major outbreak at a “large logistics business” in the city. 

The 511 route along Steeles Avenue West is temporarily cancelled west of Chinguacousy Road after nine bus operators tested positive for coronavirus infection in the past month, Brown said.

“No logistics company is more important than the safety and the health of our transit operators,” the Brampton Mayor told CP24 on Tuesday.

A source told CP24 the outbreak occurred at Amazon Fulfillment Centre YYZ3, located at the corner of Steeles Avenue West and Winston Churchill Boulevard.

The union representing the drivers has also complained about the large outbreaks of the virus at Amazon where workers rely on the Steeles buses to get to and from work, according to an report. Drivers with Brampton Transit said the buses along the route are often overcrowded with warehouse workers and expressed concern that passengers have been spreading the virus, the report added.

A statement from the City of Brampton issued on Tuesday informed the media that three bus routes had been modified. For 511 Züm Steeles and 11 Steeles the last stop serviced will be Steeles Avenue and Chinguacousy Road, while for 51 Hereford the last stop serviced will be Steeles Avenue and Financial Drive. “This suspension will be in effect for at least seven days” and “additional changes may be implemented”, the statement read. 

“Brampton Transit is working closely with Peel Public Health as they complete their community investigation,” the statement added. Brampton Transit operators have been provided with on-site testing and are required to wear medical masks.

“Peel Public Health has advised that the testing is being done out of an abundance of caution. At this time, with the additional measures recommended, there is no additional risk to operators, public, or users of transit beyond the risk that exists due to ongoing community transmission,” the City clarified.

Brampton is also reminding transit riders that face coverings should cover the nose, mouth and chin at all times. They are also being urged to avoid lowering masks, including for eating or drinking, unless it is a medical emergency.

In the meanwhile Amazon is using private buses to transport its employees, according to some media reports.




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