Halifax Transit staff shortages cause disruptions in ferry service

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Halifax Transit blamed staffing shortages for a series of cancellations and service reductions it announced for its ferry service on Monday, and it said further disruptions are possible.

The city's transit authority said that after 2 p.m. for at least the next two weeks, the Alderney Ferry to and from Dartmouth, N.S., will run every 30 minutes instead of every 15 minutes due to crew availability.

It also said that the Woodside Ferry cancelled six return trips between Halifax and Dartmouth on Monday. The city did not provide a ferry shuttle service for the missed trips.

City spokesperson Maggie-Jane Spray said in an email, “there may still be service losses over and above the trips cancelled pre-emptively.”

“But the intent is to minimize these and allow for as much service reliability as possible."

The news of reduced ferry service between Halifax and Dartmouth came after 75 city bus weekday trips out of about 3,970 were cancelled this summer because of a lack of transit staff.

Shane O’Leary, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 508, said earlier this month that it’s never been harder to recruit and retain transit employees. Low hourly wages and long work hours are to blame, O’Leary said.

Spray said the city is “always actively recruiting” new transit operators, adding that there are job postings on the City of Halifax website.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 29, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press