COVID-19 UPDATE: Taxis, Dog Park Closures, and Tax Relief
I hope you are doing well this week. First off I want to say THANK YOU! I am receiving so many amazing messages from Edmontonians about how we are all handling this global pandemic as a community. Today, and always, I am so honoured to represent such incredible people.
This week I have gathered information about how we can all help each other during this really tough time. I also made sure businesses have the help they need to protect their workers, their families, and have time to pay their bills. The big change is tax deferrals for business associations.
Keeping ETS Clean and Safe for Everyone
We are taking really strong measures to clean our transit system. Every time a train or bus gets to the end of its route, an entire cleaning crew is deployed. Transit is still fare-free but please, only leave your home if you need to.
I am also hearing concerns about safety on public transit. Specifically, in response to some of Edmonton’s most vulnerable populations using transit as a place to hang out. In response, ETS has increased security at stations, on trains, and buses. The focus is not on enforcement but on connecting people to the resources they need. If you see someone in need, please lend a hand and call 211.
ETS is deploying buses on high demand routes and ridership is monitored on a daily basis. We are seeing changes in travel patterns like never before, so ETS is working to prioritize routes for essential trips like groceries or prescription pick-up, services, or for those who still need to get to work. If you are concerned about crowding on your bus route please continue to reach out to me or call 311.
New Rules for Taxis and Uber
I know there are Ward 4 residents who use cabs to get groceries or are front line workers that take an Uber to and from work. That’s why I wanted to update you on the new COVID-19 rules for these vehicles:
- No more than one passenger per vehicle unless they are family members or a caregiver or the vehicle is a shuttle bus and can provide 1-metre distance between passengers,
- No passengers are permitted in the front seat,
- A vehicle for hire must keep cleaning and disinfecting supplies in plain view,
- Door handles (interior and exterior), window controls, door locks, passenger seating area, seat belts and buckles, must be cleaned after each ride,
- Any vehicle that provides service to a passenger who is demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms must be removed from service.
Manning Village Dog Park Closed, All Dogs To Be Leashed
Effective April 4, four fenced dog parks will be closed and users of other off-leash areas must keep their dogs on-leash until further notice. Gates will be locked at four dog parks: Lauderdale, Paisley, Alex Decoteau and Manning Village. Keeping dogs on-leash reduces the potential for owners to have to intervene should their dog approach another dog or individual.
How to Access City Services While Keeping Us All Safe
If you need a work permit, to connect with animal control, or have questions about your utilities, please watch this video. To make sure our workers are safe, many of our processes have changed. A number of in-person service counters have closed, but services are still available online, by phone, or email.
Resources if You or a Loved One is Experiencing Violence
I know during a time of crisis, there is an increased need for family supports and shelters. First, if you think someone is in danger, call 911. Call 1-866-331-3933 to get connected with a shelter, or phone a family member or friend that can make this call for you. Let’s continue to look out for each other, especially when we are physically distancing.
Once again, I’m working to develop local strategies here in Edmonton for residents being impacted by COVID-19. In the meantime, the province and federal governments are offering supports if you need to self-isolate, have lost work, or are caring for a loved one. Here are the links if you need income support, the information can be found here:
Ward 4 Edmonton City Councillor