Still Not Announcing Bus Stops in Halifax

Hmm. Yesterday was hot and humid. According to those who saw the interview on TV, Opal looked bored. I can tell you now, she was hot and bothered. So was I.  A CBC ‘Nova Scotia News at 6’ reporter phoned to ask me for a follow-up interview about Metro Transit’s policy/lack of policy/inability to comply with a policy to ANNOUNCE BUS STOPS.  You would think that this is a no-brainer. Apparently not. Metro Transit’s acting general manager was asked to comment on the elusive plan to install a ‘voice enunciator system’ (automaticaly announces stops as buses cruise along the route).  Money. Yes, it’s all about the underfunding, the high cost of such a system…. but one day…

Sorry, that’s not good enough.  Halifax must come to its senses and get in line with major cities across this country (including Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Ottawa) and the dozens of small town transit companies who have adopted a policy to announce stops on buses and on other forms of transit.  Some have seen the light all on their own,  while other cities (like Toronto and Ottawa) have been mandated  to do so through Human Rights Tribunals and other legislating bodies.

This is the city that is trying to sell its HRM (Halifax) By Design strategy. If this town wants to become an urban mecca, then it needs to get serious about transit. That’s right. Get the money from the feds, the province or maybe the money can be secured by taxing the gas-guzzling  (usually single-driver) vehicles entering the downtown core (like London).  I don’t really care. Neither does the rest of the blind population AND the other citizens in this city who would like to know where they are on the bus route. We have several universities here with a huge student population arriving “FROM AWAY” each year.  We have a small invasion each summer of cruise ship passengers and other tourists.  We have numerous  people immigrating to Canada  who land on our shore and into our city each year as well as  other newcomers to town.  NONE OF THEM KNOW WHERE THEY ARE GOING!!  Surprise!  You must realize that not all residents know where each street, transfer point, major intersection or significant public building is located on every bus route. So, find the money for the automated system. Pick a date for the project to be finalized by. In the meanwhile, make the drivers announce major stops!!! They can do it the old fashioned way and shout out the stops! Give them a trip sheet to figure out what those major stops are. If they don’t like it, TOO BAD!  Maybe the pressure Metro Transit management gets  from their union (you KNOW they will go cry foul to the union. Winnipeg drivers did) will be motivation to find the money for the automated system lickety split! Sheesh!


4 responses to “Still Not Announcing Bus Stops in Halifax

  1. Some guy on the internets

    I live in Winnipeg, and the bus stop announcing is annoying. I feel bad for the bus driver for having to do it. If you’re blind, ask the bus driver to call your stop, fine, but don’t annoy everyone else because of your disability. If you have no legs I shouldn’t have to carry you on my back so you can get anywhere. Theres a limit to these so called “human rights” which are given out like candy for things that are anything but “rights” and more like “demands” and “wants”. Which is why a large amount of Canadians are fed up with these tribunals and their far-reaching yet unaccountable powers.

  2. Hey some guy in Winnipeg, Here’s the thing. The drivers can’t get their pin head brains together long enough to REMEMBER to announce my stop. Maybe if the transit company offered me an accessible schedule, or route maps, or a website…damn, anything! Here’s your reality check: It’s too late. Done deal. Canadians should get down on their knees in praise of our Human Rights protection. If someone has no legs, they would be rolling onto an ALF bus under their own steam (same number bus I take to get most places), but at least, they would be able to read the schedule, AND know when to get off the bus! If you’re so fed up with the accommodation provided by Canadian human rights, I suggest you take a trip to a country where even you (and I’m assuming that you’re an able-bodied, middle class white male) would be crying foul over the state of your miserable existence. Have a nice day in the ‘peg.

  3. J. Chestnut

    My husband has recently started to take the bus to
    work and I tried to get the bus schedule on line so
    I could print them but the schedules were there to
    look at but not printable. What is the big deal with that. As far as announcing the stops you will always get some who like it and some who do not as you
    can’t please everyone. I think it also very unfair
    to refer to bus drivers like they are less than human. Those drives have to put up with a lot of crap from passengers and since their seats are not made for sitting in them for long periods of time they suffer from back injuries and hand injuries. Maybe people should give the drivers a break. After all you can get more with honey than vinegar. What is wrong with people being pleasant to others. Maybe the world would be better off.


  4. Hi, yes schedules are totally inaccessible to people who who are blind or partially sighted in Halifax, both on-line and in print. So are the route maps and the signs at the bus stops (I notice that you are ‘local’…as you have noticed, here in Halifax, many bus stops are located mid-block with the only indication being a pole with a little sign at the top. It could be a parking sign or any number of things) the numbers on the bus are unreadable and not too many drivers announce their number when they roll up. I have friends with white canes who have been asked by these drivers who ‘put up with a lot of crap’ ” can’t you read?”. Essentially, I am not getting the same service that sighted people are. There are many good drivers. Yes they do put up with a lot. They also CHOOSE to take this unionized JOB and are PAID a fair wage. What I find totally irritating is the obscene amount of money that was spent installing an ‘audio security system’ on buses which PICKS up excessive noise (troublemakers) and automatically forwards an alert to the police. You think they could have gone the distance and made it work to ANNOUNCE the stops (again, this is the LAW in some jurisdictions) which drivers find so difficult. I would not even mind if I were assured that my REQUESTED stop would be announced, but it is NOT half the time….and it’s not because drivers are so incredibly busy at all times. This often happens on sleepy sunday mornings when there is no traffic, no bad weather and few passengers to ‘distract’ the drivers. What’s they excuse? why are they being paid? If that’s too much trouble, then I want the city to spend money on the automatic voice announcement system. Poop or get off the pot, ya know?

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