On a typical day, Calgary Transit’s LRT ridership exceeds 300,000.
Stations would be bustling with foot traffic and a steady stream of commuters popping on and off of CTrain cars.
PHOTOS BY FABIAN ARIAS-ALVARADO
With the threat of coronavirus spread, much of that traffic has all but disappeared.
Earlier this week, I travelled the typical route I would take to school at SAIT. Only, it was anything but typical.
What was once a normal Calgary commute for thousands has become a lonely ride for those few still using public transportation to get to work or doing essential travel.
Some people seem confused. The silence, and the vibe of uncertainty, has taken over the whole experience riding transit.
Many Calgarians have the opportunity to work from home. That’s been encouraged as a means of flattening the curve of COVID-19 spread.
The daily dynamics of the city have been altered and the everyday life of people has been perhaps forever changed due to the COVID-19. Daily habits and routines are not the same for thousands of Calgarians.
Trains with nearly empty cars, still come and go every 10 to 15 minutes to take the handful of commuters using Calgary Transit to their destinations.
Transit is taking every precaution to ensure that cars are cleaned and sanitized regularly to ensure the protection of riders.
Measures are also being taken on buses to ensure limited contact with drivers and riders.
Stations that are usually very crowded during peak hours are now deserted.
Instead of the sounds of a busy commuting crowd, often the only thing heard is the station reminder… In this case, “Chinook Station.”
While there are few riders, those aboard city trains are trying to stay away from each other to avoid potential COVID-19 infection. Physical distancing is on everyone’s mind and may play a role in the reluctance to board Calgary Transit.
Even though there are still people outside using different means of transportation, some of them are taking the precaution of wearing face masks and gloves to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
The SAIT/AUarts/Jubilee LRT station, one that’s typically busy with a steady stream of students from Monday to Friday, is now abandoned.
Students are now working and receiving classes from home and trying to make the most of the end to their semester.