Nova Scotia

Halifax ferries back in service as strike ends

Metro Transit's Halifax-Dartmouth ferry sailed Thursday for the first time in more than 40 days.
Most passengers were just happy the strike was over. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Metro Transit's Halifax-Dartmouth ferry sailed Thursday for the first time in more than 40 days.

The city's buses and ferries were out of service for February and much of March while drivers went on strike over wages and scheduling. The strike ended Tuesday and the ferries were on the water Thursday.

Buses are due back on the roads Friday. Maintenance crews needed an extra day to get the vehicles ready.

The service will be free for the rest of March.

Commuter John Houston said his wife was happy the ferry was running — she drove him to work for the duration of the strike.

"It's great. It saves me a car ride to work every morning," he said.

Steve Edwards has been walking and biking for the past six weeks. He said he was happy to have the ferry on a snowy Thursday morning, but wasn't going to trust Metro Transit.  

"It's too undependable," he said. "This is a nice break — it will save me a 45-minute walk."  

A Metro Transit ferry leaves Halifax Thursday. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

There was some concern that some members of the public would vent anger on the Metro Transit employees, but ferry Captain David Mott said the day got off to a great start.

"It's excellent. It was a long strike and I'm really glad it's over," he said. "So far with the passengers, it's been very good. Very positive. Everybody suffered quite a bit so it's good to be back."  

He noted that ridership is usually lower during March Break, making it hard to estimate if it was a regular morning crowd.

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