While St. John’s International Airport and city taxis are now permitted to resume regular service, one key part of public transportation remains out of service.
Metrobus general manager Judy Powell told The Telegram via email that Metrobus and GoBus services will not resume until the state of emergency is lifted.
“Once it is lifted, we’ll assess the streets and identify any problem areas to implement detours if required,” she wrote.
“If any detours are necessary, details on service adjustments will be communicated and notices placed on any missed stops with directions to (the) nearest alternate stop.
“When service resumes, we ask that drivers be respectful of pedestrians and our customers walking to bus stops because it will take several days to clear snow from sidewalks and bus stops.
“Priority for decisions regarding service is the safety of our employees and customers,” Powell wrote.
2 GoBus vehicles are approved by the City to provide assistance discharging patients from healthcare facilities-Eastern Health will coordinate. GoBus service has not been restored. Updates about the resumption Metrobus/GoBus service will be provided once the SOE has ended. #nlwx— Metrobus Transit (@MetrobusTransit) January 20, 2020
On Tuesday, Mayor Danny Breen said he has “no idea at all right now” when the bus services will be back to normal.
The city remains under a state of emergency on Wednesday, and an update on the continuation of the emergency will be given sometime during the day.
“We’re starting to get close to the end here,” said Breen.
“We’re starting to make progress that will get us to the point where we can open up the city again safely.”
While the city bus service is offline, the provincial bus service, DRL, is running. However, the only pickup and dropoff location is the 5 O’Clock Lounge on Kenmount Road. Until the state of emergency is lifted, DRL will not stop at the MUN University Student Centre.
Airport’s closure ‘unprecedented’
Flights out of St. John’s International Airport were permitted to resume at 5 a.m.Travellers are encouraged to check their airline for flight status.
The last time the airport was closed due to weather conditions was in 1999 — that was also because of significant snowfall. Still, an airport spokesperson told The Telegram on Tuesday this extended closure due to weather was “definitely unprecedented.”
Due to the recent weather delays, there will be recovery flights in addition to normal operations at #YYT today. If you’re heading to the Airport, please arrive early to ensure you have extra time for the traveling process. #nlwx— St. John's Airport (@stjohnsairport) January 22, 2020
As for other modes of transportation, taxis were permitted to resume regular service at midnight Tuesday.
As well, residents are allowed to drive during the state of emergency to exempted locations only during the hours those locations are open.
Exempted locations include the airport, doctor and specialist offices, pharmacies, food stores and gas stations.
“Please drive carefully and watch for pedestrians and snow removal and emergency equipment; many streets are still very narrow; carpool if possible,” a city news release reads.
“Please, stay off city streets to the fullest extent possible; reduced congestion on streets means snow removal can happen quicker and the city will be able to transition away from a state of emergency faster.”