Nova Scotia

'Incredible effort': Halifax Transit avoids anticipated bus service delays

After warning passengers to make other plans due to an anticipated "significant impact" to bus service Friday, the city said they had avoided any issues due to an "incredible effort" from Halifax Transit workers.

The city warned transit users of possible disruptions, but none ended up happening

Halifax Transit expected buses would be delayed or cancelled on Friday, but it didn't happen. (Robert Short/CBC)

After asking bus passengers to find another way to get around on Friday due to expected delays, the municipality said it had avoided issues thanks to "incredible effort" from transit workers.

Halifax Regional Municipality issued a release Thursday evening stating that transit's conventional bus service would be "significantly impacted" at the start of service Friday due to staff availability.

 "Riders should expect route delays and/or cancellations and are asked to make alternate plans if possible," the city said.

Halifax Transit was expected to share route disruptions "as timely as possible" via their website and @hfxtransit on Twitter. 

However, just before 10 a.m., the city announced Friday's service had remained fully operational on a reduced schedule— "due to the incredible effort from Halifax Transit maintenance workers, operators, and the operations team."

HRM spokesperson Maggie-Jane Spray said in an email that no service disruptions were anticipated for Friday afternoon, but the public would be notified if that changed.

All ferry service continued as scheduled.

Transit worker tested positive for COVID-19

On Thursday, Halifax Transit confirmed one of its workers had tested positive for COVID-19. The employee worked at the Halifax Transit garage in the Burnside Industrial Park and the garage was closed for a period of time for thorough disinfection of the area.

The director of Halifax Transit, Dave Reage, sent out a mass email Thursday saying public health officials indicated there is no risk to transit riders or the general public.

In a statement, HRM said Public Health advised the garage could remain operational and staff who have not been contacted could report to work.  

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) has been expressing its concern for bus drivers during the outbreak of the virus and officials are trying to get more information on the positive test.

Ken Wilson, ATU president, said Friday morning he had "no indication" that drivers were refusing to work.

He suggested the more likely reason for the potential service disruptions was that buses at the Burnside garage hadn't yet been cleaned.

With files from Paul Palmeter