Nova Scotia

Driver, passengers doubt safety of HRM 'slinky buses'

Questions are swirling about the safety of double-length buses in Halifax after crews spent Thursday afternoon rescuing an articulated bus that jackknifed at an intersection.

Buses are here to stay, says city

Bus stop? More like bus stuck. Workers spent Thursday afternoon trying to move this jackknifed articulated bus in Halifax (CBC)

Questions are swirling about the safety of double-length buses in Halifax after crews spent Thursday afternoon rescuing an articulated bus that jackknifed at an intersection.

The Metro Transit bus folded at the corner of Quinpool and Oxford streets, halting traffic in both directions.

Some passengers told CBC News the accordion buses sometimes have trouble on steep, slippery winter streets.

"I don't feel safe driving those slinky buses, that's what I call them," said Joanne Walsh while waiting for her bus.

"In snow or ice it is a problem," said Paul MacDonald, a driver and shop steward with the Amalgamated Transit Union.

MacDonald said these buses weren't made for the snow and pose a particular problem for drivers. He said the two-part construction of the buses makes them more difficult to maneuver.

"Climate is one thing, but also terrain. In Winnipeg where it is all flat, you don't have a problem, but in Halifax where it is all hills we have an issue," MacDonald said.   Despite the issues the city said articulated buses are here to stay.

"If we were take buses off the road due to weather conditions then that would impact the service level that the public is expecting from transit," said Shaune MacKinlay, spokeswoman for the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The city said it's better to have a couple of buses stuck whenever it snows than have commuters unable to get to their destinations.

now