City running bus mask blitz Feb. 3

OTTAWA – Don’t forget your mask Wednesday (Feb. 3) or you might be having an uncomfortable chat with an OC Transpo special constable and a $260 ticket while riding the bus.

Transportation Services general manager John Manconi leaked the news of the one-day Operation Mask Up blitz scheduled for the city’s buses Wednesday.

“As you may recall, OC Transpo ran Operation Mask Up from Oct. 9 to 23 to help change the behaviour of the small number of customers failing to comply with OC Transpo’s mandatory mask policy,” Manconi wrote in a memo to city council today, obtained by West Carleton Online. “As the days progressed throughout the two-week blitz, special constables saw a steady decline in the number of customers either not wearing masks or wearing them incorrectly.”

Following the blitz, customer compliance has remained high. Special constables have continued to enforce the Transit Bylaw and have only issued two tickets.

“The purpose of running an additional one-day blitz is to reinforce the importance of wearing a mask while taking transit,” Manconi said. “OC Transpo Special Constables will issue fines of $260 under the Transit Bylaw to those customers not wearing a mask. They will also reinforce how to properly wear a mask and will provide customers with a disposable mask if they do not have their own mask.”

There are some customers who are unable to wear a mask for a variety of reasons. Young children as well as customers who identify themselves as having a disability or medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask will not be issued a fine.

“Customers who refuse to wear a mask, and do not have any medical or other restrictions, will not be permitted to enter the transit system,” Manconi said. “Information about the one-day Operation Mask Up blitz will be shared on, social media and transit information screens and through alerts to subscribers. In the future, additional blitzes may take place as required.”