Halifax Transit staffing shortages are leading to more bus trips being cancelled starting this Friday.
Halifax Transit is cancelling 10 more bus trips, all departing between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. On July 11, 22 early morning trips were canceled across 15 routes. The number of routes now affected is 19.
The full list of cancelled bus trips is available below and on the Halifax Transit website.
Halifax Regional Municipality spokesperson Ryan Nearing said in an emailed statement that Halifax Transit pre-emptively cancelled the trips to give passengers time to plan for alternative transportation options.
"We are closely monitoring the situation over the coming days and will make any adjustments as required based on staffing availability," Nearing said.
"The intent is to minimize service disruptions and allow for as much service reliability as possible."
What's causing the staff shortages?
Shane O'Leary is the president of Amalgamated Transit Union 508, which represents Halifax Transit drivers. He says the transit system is deteriorating because of low wages and burnout.
"People are just done," O'Leary said.
"They are not going to work for $21 or $22 and have to pay all their benefits and then have to take you out and drive a 40 or 60 foot bus down the streets of Halifax for 60 to 80 hours a week."
Halifax Transit is currently running a bus operator recruitment campaign to increase staffing so regular operations can resume. Aspiring bus operators need to undergo a seven-week training program.
O'Leary says Halifax Transit should alter their recruitment strategies.
"They need to go out and hire truck drivers or experienced bus drivers and shorten the training period or something to that effect."
"We need operators behind the wheels and on the boats. The first thing we need in order to do that is much better pay and working conditions."
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