It’s been a rough road for the folks at ONroute since the pandemic began.
The familiar rest stops along Highway 400 and 401 had to remain open when just about everything else was closed … had to be there for essential services – truckers – who were delivering necessary goods across the province.
ONroute CEO Melanie Teed-Murch knew it was going to be challenging. Her team started planning in January when COVID-19 case numbers began rising around the world.
She says she’s proud to have helped keep Ontario moving, but it hasn’t been without its moments … with the world anxious and nervous, “I think, with that comes a lack of patience and perhaps a lack of human decency from time to time. What I’ve told my team is to acknowledge people’s feelings, be patient. I think we all need to exhibit some patience and kindness toward one another.”
Having to adhere to mandatory use of masks has been an issue for some travellers. So has the ONroute policy of accepting debit or credit cards only as payment. But Teed-Murch says you won’t find a safer place to stop, “We’re temperature checking, we had plastic shields before the grocery stores, our teams all wear nitrile gloves and masks as a mandatory precaution. We have social distancing that’s been in place, and outside of that … we have a maximum capacity in the plaza based on the square footage.”
Teed-Murch says patience will go a long way, even if you just need to run in to use the washroom.
“We just ask all the travellers … understand we’re all in this together. We’re doing our best to get them through quickly and efficiently.”