THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Bombardier Inc. states that the company is going to temporarily lay off 196 employees who have been working on regional transit services in the Greater Toronto Area. This decision is based on the massive declines in ridership on GO Transit and the Union Pearson Express.
The declines in ridership are a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ridership has dropped by 90 percent on the rail services run by Metrolinx. The entire transportation sector in Canada has been seriously impacted by COVID-19 and travel restrictions.
Bombardier says that the layoffs, which come into effect on June 21, 2020, represent twenty percent of the company’s employees.
There have been similar declines in ridership for Greyhound Canada which suspended its services in southern Ontario and for Kasper Transportation in Northern Ontario.
In southern Ontario and in the GTA the requests from governments to stay home, flatten the curve and the numbers of business closures have seen major shifts in the numbers of people commuting to work.
With the growing numbers of people telecommuting from home offices, the longer-term impact of COVID-19 on the transportation sector is likely to continue.
The airline business has also been heavily hit as passenger numbers have declined. Porter Airlines has announced in May that its service suspension will last until July 28, 2020.