Barrie man questions lack of mask mandate on city buses

“Every time I get on a bus there is at least one passenger without a mask,” says Barrie senior

Christopher Morris wants masks to be mandatory, not a choice, on Barrie Transit buses.

The Barrie man said he did not feel safe when other bus riders were outed.

“Every time I get on a bus there is at least one passenger without a mask,” he said. “I am an elderly person with a weakened immune system and I am very worried.

“Why can’t this mandate be enforced?” Should passengers call 911? »

The answer is that during the pandemic, masks are mandatory on Barrie Transit buses — but that’s not a mandate or an order.

Barrie Transit Director Brent Forsyth says masks or face coverings are required when riding Barrie Transit or inside the downtown bus station, until June 11, to staff and passengers.

Forsyth says bus drivers are reminding passengers who are not wearing a mask to put one on when they enter the bus. Additionally, he says the city is providing individually wrapped masks on every bus and in the terminal, for anyone who forgets to bring their own mask.

Some passengers and visitors may be exempt from wearing a mask or face covering, including those with underlying medical conditions, those who require assistance putting on or removing a mask, and those who require adaptation in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Forsyth says not all medical or other conditions are visible. Safety and transit oversight teams at the city’s bus terminal monitor compliance and respond to issues on a case-by-case basis, he said.

“Operators will remind passengers to wear a mask, but will not remove a passenger,” Forsyth said. “If a situation escalates and warrants the removal of a passenger, the bus operator will contact their dispatcher and, depending on the situation and location, either a transit supervisor, city security, or, if necessary , the Barrie Police Department will be contacted to handle the situation.

“The city does not have precise data on these incidents. However, there have been very few incidents where passengers have been removed from the bus.

Morris contacted Service Barrie with his concerns about not wearing masks on Barrie Transit buses, received a case number and referred to the city’s website page (

The message to Morris was “Masks or face coverings are required while riding Barrie Transit or inside the transit terminal until June 11, 2022.”

According to Health Canada, masks are one of the most effective individual public health measures that can be used to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19.

Along with other public health measures, Health Canada says a well-constructed, well-fitting, and properly worn mask can help prevent people from getting COVID-19 and spreading it to others.

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