Charlottetown lobbying for yield-to-bus legislation

The city of Charlottetown is lobbying the province to put yield-to-bus legislation in place.

The legislation would mean that you could not pass a bus while it was trying to pull out off the curb at a bus stop.

Several other provinces including British Columbia and Nova Scotia have the legislation in place, and on P.E.I. the owner of the capital region's transit provider says it's necessary.

"Our streets are narrow. We do not have bus lanes, we have a narrow shoulder," said Mike Cassidy, owner of T3 Transit.

"Even when we stop and we pull over slightly we are still in the lane of traffic, and we just want motorists to realize as we drop off and pick up we're going to emerge into the lane," he said.

We've had some motorists try to go through us on the inside in between the passenger side door and the sidewalk. — Mike Cassidy, T3 Transit

Cassidy said a bus pulling out can take up to nearly three-quarters of the lane.

"We just want people to understand that that's how we have to operate."

Bus traffic up

Cassidy said in the past few years, traffic on his bus routes has greatly increased and this law is needed because some motorists are naturally "a little bit impatient."

T3 Transit

"We've had some motorists try to go through us on the inside in between the passenger side door and the sidewalk," he said.

"The legislation would just suggest, it's a pleasant reminder to say we are on busy, busy streets we all have to get to where we are going and we would like to try to do it safely for all of us."

Cassidy recently spoke with city staff about getting the legislation in place, and the subject was brought up at a recent committee meeting.

Charlottetown writes to province

Charlottetown has now written a letter to the Department of Transportation asking that department to add the rule to the Highway Safety Act.

"We searched around other communities and municipalities and there is a few out there that has this yield-to-bus legislation put in place," said Terry MacLeod, chair of the environment and sustainability committee.

"When he's got his blinker on you should let him out, that he's trying to provide a service to the community, and that it's important that he's on time because people's schedules depend on that bus."

MacLeod said the legislation is important and that is why a letter was written. He said he is hoping for "positive feedback."

The Department of Transportation confirmed it has received the letter, but further details about ongoing discussions were not available.

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