(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Changes to transit boarding procedures and closure of service counters are some the new changes to city services that will take affect starting March 21.
“The health and safety of our residents and employees is paramount,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “We are being responsible and acting out of an abundance of caution as the COVID-19 situation and our response continues to evolve.”
Starting Saturday, March 21, Thunder Bay Transit passengers will be asked to board and exit buses using the back doors. Passengers with accessibility needs can continue to use the front doors for boarding and exiting.
“We are making some important changes to transit because many residents rely on this service and we want to do our part to keep passengers and drivers safe,” said Brad Loroff, Manager of Transit Services.
Thunder Bay Transit will not be collecting fares or paper transfers from any passenger at this time. This change is in place until further notice, and is meant to distance passengers from bus operators, promote social distancing and help keep the community safe from the spread of COVID-19.
Consider social distancing:
- The seats directly behind the bus operator’s compartment are not in service.
- Passengers must stay behind the yellow line and not approach the Operator.
- Passengers of Transit and Lift+ Specialized are asked to avoid all non-essential travel, and not board the bus if sick.
- Stay 1-2 metres away from other riders.
Residents can call the Thunder Bay Transit customer service line at 807-684-3744 for transit-related questions, or visit the city’s website.
City Service Counters by Appointment Only Except City Hall
As of Monday, March 23, City customer service counters will be closed to the public and only available by appointment. The customer service desk at City Hall will operate on limited hours from 10 am to 2 pm.
To schedule an appointment by phone, visit www.thunderbay.ca/coronavirus for a list of numbers.
Limited In-Home Service Visits
The City will be limiting in-home visits for services such as building inspections, and more. If visits are required pre-screening will take place prior to the visit.
Free On-Street Parking at Meters
To facilitate easy and timely pick-up and drop off at local businesses, on street parking at metered spaces is free for a maximum of two hours until April 30. All other parking rules continue to apply.
The City will be suspending the aging process for City parking tickets received as of March 1, 2020, until April 30, 2020. At this time the ‘freeze’ on aging tickets will be reviewed. This suspension on aging means citizens can delay payments on parking tickets without fear of escalating fines or license plates numbers being sent Ministry of Transportation for plate denial.
The Parking Authority is still accepting payments for any tickets by mail, in our drop-boxes (located outside both Parkades), or in-person by appointment only. Call 625-2370 to make an appointment. Currently only debit or credit will be accepted for in-person visits, no cash payment.
Animal Service Adoptions by Appointment
Pet adoptions and pet redemption can only be made by appointment only. The shelter doors will be locked. Residents can call 684-2156 to schedule an appointment.
All emergency Animal Services field operations continue, including responding to calls about sick or injured animals and animals threatening public safety, stray dog pickup, dog bite investigations and dead animal pickup.
The Centre is also closed to volunteers and tours, and will not be accepting donations of any used items. Healthy stray cats will not be accepted at this time.
Fire Rescue Update
Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Is making adjustments to some operations. Emergency response will not change. Fire Stations are fully staffed and able to respond to any emergencies. Fire Fighters will be instituting enhanced personal protective equipment protocols and procedures such as maintaining six feet of distance for initial assessment, when possible, and wearing additional protective equipment such as gowns and face shields on calls with suspected Covid-19 virus symptoms.
Fire Prevention and Inspection Services will have altered procedures, including temporarily putting on hold fire Inspections for business licenses. Officers will also be following up with customers via email or phone when possible to limit in person contact, and are still responding to fire life safety concerns identified by public complaint or by discovery through fire crews.
Fire protection certificates and reports will be accepted electronically and reviewed remotely, and Fire stations will be closed to the public.
Hiring Continues for Essential Services
The Corporation will continue to recruit for essential positions during this time, such as personal support workers in long-term care. Active job postings can be found at www.thunderbay.ca/jobs
Decisions on programs and services are being made on a daily basis. For the most up-to-date list of service changes, and additional city service information lines, visit: www.thunderbay.ca/coronavirus
For public health information, visit:
- www.ontario.ca/coronavirus – the Ontario Ministry of Health reports on the status of cases in Ontario each morning at 10:30 am.
- www.TBDHU.COM/coronavirus – the Health Unit’s website contains links to credible sources of information for both the public and local health care providers.