Cost shouldn’t be a deciding factor in hiring special constables for transit buses, says a city councillor.
“It would cost less than what the life of a bus driver would cost,” said Harry McInroy.
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The Cole Harbour councillor will ask council tonight to look into security for Metro Transit.
“There’s been a seemingly increasing issue of assaults of bus drivers, the most recent one a few weeks back where a driver was viciously beaten by a group of five or six guys,” McInroy said.
There also seems to be an increase in illegal and inappropriate activity taking place on buses and in and around transit terminals, he added.
And with HRM planning to expand transit service over the next several years, he said, it’s up to the city to ensure that it’s safe.
“It’s something that you just have to do,” he said.
McInroy will request a report on obtaining special transit constables, with information gathered from other cities of a comparable size with comparable transit systems.
He said the constables wouldn’t come from the Halifax Regional Police; they would be specially designated security officers with some legislation allowing them to make arrests or hand out fines.
Dan MacDonald, president of the local amalgamated transit union, couldn’t be reached for comment on the subject, but McInroy said he’s spoken to the union leader many times on the subject.
“They’ve been asking for this for years,” he said.