In March of last year, when the virus first arrived here, Halifax Transit waived fees, allowing passengers to use the rear doors to board and exit and thus limiting bus drivers’ exposures. Bus occupancy was limited. Fares were waived. Now, with infection rates much higher, and while facing new more virulent and deadly Covid-19 strains, Halifax Transit has refused to make a similar adjustment.
Press release: “Covid 19 is running rampant on Halifax Buses, and Halifax Transit isn’t doing near enough to protect the public,” says Ken Wilson, President and Business Agent of Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 508.
PSA: A Change.org petition (Change.org/HalifaxTransitMasks) started on behalf of transit workers is calling for enforcement of mandatory face masks on all public transit in Halifax. While masks have been technically mandatory on all transit buses since July, there is currently no enforcement or penalties for not wearing a mask.
Press release: An overwhelming majority of Halifax residents believe that the Federal Government should provide $5 billion in emergency funding to public transit agencies. A poll conducted by Probe Research on behalf of Amalgamated Transit Union Canada found that 78% of people in Halifax strongly support or somewhat support federal funding for public transit operations.
Because of the coronavirus the Amalgamated Transit Union wants only essential workers to travel on the bus. Don’t forget about poor people, says Kendall Worth, they depend on the bus.
“As a result of Halifax Transit being exempted from the social distancing order, we are seeing buses fully loaded with passengers forced to sit side by side, without any physical distancing at all,” says Wilson. “People will get sick. This level of bus loading will not flatten the curve”