Updated to reflect the suspension of the Polar Bear Express, effective April 7th

The COVID-19 pandemic has led Ontario Northland to cut back on passenger services on rail and highway while self-isolation measures are in place.

Communications manager Renée Baker says bus service between North Bay and Toronto has been scaled back.
“So for example, North Bay to Toronto, we would have gone four times a day. Now we’ve reduced that to once or twice a day.”

As far as north of North Bay, Baker clarifies, “Most of the northern routes haven’t been affected. We were just visiting them once daily anyway.”

Baker adds the Polar Bear Express train between Cochrane and Moosonee initially ran twice a week instead of four times weekly at the outset of the pandemic but will be suspended as of April 7. The suspension of the Polar Bear Express will be re-evaluated every two weeks beyond that date.

Baker says to encourage physical distancing, there will be a limit on the number of passengers per trip.

With files from Bob McIntyre, Vista Radio