**** HRM Media Release
Response to COVID-19: Halifax Transit Update
The Halifax Regional Municipality continues to monitor and respond to the rapidly evolving effects of COVID-19.
Halifax Transit was advised that a bus operator has tested positive for COVID-19.
Halifax Transit is working with Public Health to investigate the situation. Public Health has been in contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19, and will complete contact tracing to identify all those who have been in close contact with the individual. Public Health will contact those who must self-isolate and will test anyone who they deem to require testing. If Public Health’s investigation determines a public notification is needed, they will issue.
The individual who tested positive has not been in the workspace since March 31. Since that time, all workspaces and vehicles, with which the individual was in contact, have already undergone cleanings as part of Halifax Transit’s enhanced protocol.
Halifax Transit continues to engage with Public Health regularly to take direction regarding all the necessary steps required to safeguard the health of employees and residents.
Halifax Transit has been designated by the Province of Nova Scotia an essential service under the current provincial state of emergency. In light of this direction by the province, the municipality will continue delivering the highest level of service that can be reasonably provided – while also continuing to take steps that help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and make buses as safe an environment as possible in the circumstances. Residents are reminded that the level of transit service provided will continue to be adjusted as necessary, based on available operational resources.
Halifax Transit is implementing the following new measures over the long weekend to help reduce the spread of disease. These changes will significantly reduce capacity and as a result, transit should be used for essential travel ONLY.
Those who are feeling ill should not use any transit service until their health returns to normal.
Alternating seats will be blocked off with appropriate signage. This measure will further reduce capacity by approximately 50 per cent depending on the model of bus.
Please note: The caution tape that was previously at the front of the bus separating the operator from passengers will be replaced with a yellow cord as a barricade. Additional signage will be in place indicating which seats are reserved for passengers with mobility needs.
Passengers will continue to use the rear doors unless the front doors are required for accessibility.
Capacity will be reduced to 25 passengers per trip.
Food and drink will be prohibited to reduce litter.
The following changes will come into effect over the coming week:
Alternating seats will be blocked off with signage at some terminals.
In addition to these changes, several other measures have been taken to help reduce the spread of disease, including an increased frequency in wipe-downs of high-touch surfaces, the elimination of fares, having bus users enter and exit through the rear doors and limiting passengers on buses to seated passengers only. All of these changes support the municipality’s commitment to safe social distancing.
Buses and ferries continue to operate on a reduced schedule.
For more information on municipal services during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit halifax.ca/coronavirus.