TORONTO -- Some southern Ontario commuters will find themselves with fewer options today as transit agency Metrolinx cuts back on service due to COVID-19.

The Crown corporation that operates GO Transit says staffing levels are 20 to 30 per cent lower on average due to the rapid spread of COVID's Omicron variant.

It says absenteeism is expected to increase as more people are exposed to Omicron, so the agency is acting now in an effort to “protect critical transit services.”

Metrolinx says it's decreasing service by about 15 per cent across the network.

The agency adds that it's hoping to maintain “hourly service or better” wherever possible.

It also says it expects ridership to remain low, as many people are working and attending school remotely.