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.
After declaring a climate emergency Halifax committed to buy upwards of 150 diesel buses from then until 2023. Meanwhile, PEI announced that their entire fleet of 220 school buses would be electrified by 2040 or sooner, and that, without preamble, they’d gone ahead and purchased their first twelve all-electrics. Zack Metcalfe investigates.
Friends of the Halifax Common: “As you leave your role as Premier, we write to ask that you re-consider the decision to build a $30 million dollar, 8-storey, 500-stall parking garage on one of the last remaining public open green spaces on the Halifax Common.”
“How many more children are going to be left behind before we will make it our collective priority to end child poverty,” JoAnna LaTulippe-Rochon asks in a presentation on child poverty in Cape Breton. She speaks of parents living in rat-infested homes, skipping meals in order to feed their children.
“In normal times we’re talking about guys who work for nine months straight, at very low wages. Now with COVID-19 we’ve got workers that have been on board ships for 13 or 14 months. They’re all trapped and they can’t get home to the Philippines, they can’t get home to India, to the Ukraine,” says Karl Risser, an International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) inspector here in Nova Scotia. .“It’s getting desperate. We’ve heard reports of seafarers jumping overboard, seafarers fighting, massive tension on board, because no one knows for how long they will be stuck there.”
“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”
A story about the wild west that is the shipping industry. ITF inspector Karl Risser about his recent encounter with a young Ukrainian sailor working for peanuts and the promise of a better future, maybe.
KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Placing the new QEII Community Outpatient Centre in Bayers Lake Industrial Park will create hurdles for many people…
Councillors on the Halifax Transportation Committee are recommending that the bus pass discount pilot project be expanded. The program allows low income Haligonians to buy a bus pass for half the price. Some say access to transportation is a basic necessity, and the City could do much better.
Community Services budget numbers back up what a lot of people on social assistance and poverty advocates have been saying for years. The department is cutting back on bus passes and other travel expenses.