Free bus, ferry service on New 12 months’s Eve a ‘recipe for catastrophe’: Halifax transit union – Halifax


The union representing transit staff within the Halifax Regional Municipality says the choice by town to supply free and prolonged bus and ferry service on New 12 months’s Eve goes opposite to the recommendation Public Well being has been offering.

In a social media submit Wednesday, Halifax Transit stated free and prolonged bus and Alderney Ferry service can be offered on New 12 months’s Eve from 6 p.m. onwards, in assist of the Halifax chapter of Moms Towards Drunk Driving’s Halifax chapter.

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We’re happy to supply free, prolonged bus and Alderney Ferry service on New 12 months’s Eve, from 6 p.m. onwards in assist of @MaddHalifax. For New 12 months’s Eve schedules, go to:

— Halifax Transit (@hfxtransit) December 30, 2020

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It’s a service that’s been offered in yr’s previous, however the transit union says with the pandemic, that call ought to have been re-evaluated.

“It is unnecessary,” stated Ken Wilson, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Native 508.

“We’re left scratching our head yet another time throughout this pandemic.”

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Wilson says drivers are already feeling unsafe resulting from a scarcity of enforcement round masks carrying on transit. He feels including free rides and intoxicated passengers to the equation will solely make issues worse.

“We might run a daily service. The core routes run previous midnight anyhow, we’d nonetheless get individuals who wanted to go to work, and the odd folks going out some sort of bus service,” stated Wilson.

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“However to present prolonged service and free service, and invite intoxicated passengers on a heat bus with out enforcement of masks, is a recipe for catastrophe.”

As a part of the prolonged Halifax Transit service, a number of the predominant routes can be on the streets as late as three a.m., quite than the usual completion time of 1 a.m.

And earlier in December, the Amalgamated Transit Union Native 508 referred to as on Halifax Transit to ramp up enforcement on masks carrying, as there are nonetheless no repercussions for many who refuse to conform.

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“You may nonetheless get on a bus proper now and we will’t implement masks, which is unlucky,” stated Wilson. “A variety of transit staff are involved with the brand new variant of COVID-19 being extra infectious.”

Click to play video 'Halifax Transit drivers refusing work after passengers forego masks'

Halifax Transit drivers refusing work after passengers forego masks

Halifax Transit drivers refusing work after passengers forego masks – Dec 1, 2020

Town declined an interview for this story, however in an announcement stated the choice to supply free fares on New 12 months’s Eve is “not meant to encourage residents to make use of transit, nor to encourage gatherings.”

“The intent of this providing — each this yr and in earlier years — is to supply a secure transportation possibility for many who do resolve to journey on New 12 months’s Eve,” stated Erin DiCarlo, a spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Municipality in an announcement.

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Halifax Transit customers say it’s a tough name to make.

“I can see each side of the coin, so it’s type of exhausting to agree with both of them,” stated transit consumer Benjamin Savage.

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“I don’t see the issue in the event that they cost. They’ve been charging, so it doesn’t make a distinction to me,” stated transit consumer Vivek Botniss.

“For me, (free New 12 months’s Eve journey) remains to be advantageous, I don’t assume many individuals are going to journey on the bus that day anyway,” stated transit consumer Nityam Gandhi.

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However Wilson says Halifax Transit ought to follow what Public Well being has been preaching.

“If you happen to take a look at different transit companies throughout Canada, they’ve cancelled their New 12 months’s Eve service. They’re working their common service. I don’t know why we’re not following swimsuit.”

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