Thunder Bay transit fences in smokers
Designated smoking areas built after riders object to breathing in second hand smoke
Smokers waiting for a bus at the Water Street terminal in Thunder Bay now have their own space to light up in since the installation of a fenced-in area on each side of the terminal.
Thunder Bay transit created the spaces designated for tobacco-users in the wake of complaints from some passengers — and to ensure compliance with a city bylaw.
Transit manager Brad Loroff said the fence will ensure bus drivers and passengers comply with the bylaw that requires smokers to be three metres from the entrance to any workplace — including a bus.
The change also speaks to a health issue, he noted.
"[We’re trying to] address some complaints that had been coming more regular[ly] from passengers, with regards to having to walk through second hand smoke to access buses," Loroff said.
Smoker Ryan Toskovich said he wonders how the new rules will be enforced, "‘[be]cause they really don't have many people down here to do so."
"And the bus drivers that I see … come off the bus and they'll have smokes outside the bus [too]," he said.
Loroff noted enforcement will be done by city bylaw officers, and said drivers have been instructed to smoke in the designated areas.
Despite his concerns, Toskovich said he thinks the designated smoking areas are a good idea.
"There are young children … around so they shouldn't be having the smoke all around them," he said.
The fenced-in areas also have receptacles for used cigarettes.
While the smoking areas may seem confining to some, Sharon Daigle said she doesn't mind the cramped quarters.
"Well it's a good place to be and that's when all your cigarette butts stay in one place, she said. "And, it's easier to clean up instead of having it all over the place."