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CBCNews.ca readers not okay with Winnipeg Transit's fine for singing on the bus

Categories: Canada

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Singing is now a no-no on Winnipeg Transit buses and could land you a $100 fine. (CBC)

Readers on CBCNews.ca sang the blues for Winnipeg Transit after seeing a report that singing an impromptu ditty on a Winnipeg bus could now land you a $100 fine.

The city's executive policy committee approved a new transit bylaw on Wednesday that makes singing on a Winnipeg Transit bus a ticketable offence.

Our CBC Manitoba poll asked readers if they believed the $100 fine was fair. By Wednesday evening, more than 2,800 people, or 76.1 per cent of respondents, replied, "No way, it's insane."

Most readers on CBCNews.ca's comments section and the CBC News Facebook page panned the decision, wondering why the city's policy committee even took the time to address singing on the bus when surely other, more pressing matters might demand their attention.

  • "My two-year-old daughter loves to sing Wheels on the Bus whenever we ride one. It will now be illegal for her to do so, subject to a $100 fine. Yet another example of inept governance by this city council," wrote YWGjets.

  • "Seems like someone, somewhere is worried that somebody, somewhere just might be enjoying themselves. Cripes - don't go around letting people be happy - it just won't do. Seems to me that it would be simple enough to write the bylaw so that people would have to stop if they were bothering other passengers without going to this extent," wrote Micklette.

  • "As a Winnipeg Transit bus driver this has got to be one of the most ridiculous things I've heard of - unless of course they happen to be singing a Justin Bieber song," added SamSquantch to the discussion.

  • "That's really the problem with Winnipeg buses. Too much joy," wrote Mike Styczen.

  • "I remember when I working downtown. I was living in Fort Garry and taking the 60 Pembina Bus, the bus driver was either singing or whistling. The people on that bus really enjoyed it, and also listening to little kids singing just makes a person's day. I think this is ridiculous that there is a fine for singing. I am sure there are more important things then giving out fines on a bus," recalled Linda Yager.

  • "Many years ago, Winnipeg Transit had its very own 'Singing Bus Driver.' He was a terrific guy and brought many a smile to passengers' faces. This bylaw is a blow to his spirit. Boo-urns, Winnipeg. Boo. Urns," Jim Taylor wrote.

  • "The wheels on the bus go...SHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Scott McCrickard wrote, imagining what the bus would sound like under the new bylaw.

There were, however, some readers who agreed with the decision, noting that loud activities like some music and singing - especially off-key performances - can disrupt others' rides, as well as the driver's concentration.

  • "A little intense, but I hate people who are loud and intrusive on buses. Library rules apply, in my opinion. I especially hate those jerks who play music too loudly," Joshua W Brown said, taking the opposite side of the debate.

  • "The problem is that for people who have to use the bus because they cannot afford private transportation should have the right to a peaceful ride. Drunken behaviour and raucous singing make many bus riders feel unsafe. I think the council did a service for those who MUST ride the bus. I am fortunate to no longer need to ride public transit but when I did I had more than one nervous moment with noisy, pushy, and aggressive people," remembered Liz Glazier, explaining her support for the bylaw.

  • "Good, shut up and ride the bus. Nobody wants to hear your American Idol tryout. They just want to get home," Matt Recker chimed in.

  • "You know, maybe a bunch of people singing loudly on the bus might just be a little distracting to the driver? Right?" agreed Andrew R. Denton.

What do you think about this new fine? Is it a no-fun bylaw, or is it sensible to reduce disruptions from the riders and drivers?

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