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Proposed transit bylaw would ban singing, loitering and spilling

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A new proposed transit bylaw was prompted after a bus driver was savagely beaten last year while driving a route.

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A new proposed transit bylaw was prompted after a bus driver was savagely beaten last year while driving a route. Photo Store

People who like sing in public should be careful they don’t do it while riding a Winnipeg Transit bus — that could net them a $100 fine.

Singing on transit property is one of 40 offences listed in a proposed transit bylaw aimed to ensuring safe conditions for bus drivers and passengers.

"One of the ways to get more people on the transit system is to ensure it’s clean and civilized," said Coun. Justin Swandel, chairman of the public works committee which endorsed the new bylaw earlier today.

Other offences not allowed on transit property include:

❚ Drinking alcoholic beverages.

❚ Staying more than 90 minutes in a bus shelter.

❚ Putting your feet on a bus seat.

❚ Selling goods.

❚ Causing a disturbance or interfering with the comfort or convenience of other passengers.

❚ Riding a bus without paying.

❚ Climbing out a bus window.

❚ Spilling food or drink.

❚ Refusing to leave.

❚ Failing to wear appropriate clothing.

The bylaw does not stipulate what is appropriate clothing.

The proposed bylaw still must be approved by city council.

Transit director Dave Wardrop said the new bylaw targets habitual offenders who pose a threat to operators and passengers. The bylaw was prompted after a bus driver was savagely beaten last year while driving a route.

"This bylaw… provides a mechanism for inspectors to address chronic, problematic issues," Wardrop told the committee.

The safety plan also includes assigning two Winnipeg police cadets to act as security for transit, beginning in September. However, that component still must be approved by the Winnipeg Police Board.

The bylaw would also make it an offence to attempt to ride a bus without paying a fare, which is a concern of several groups who feared that would criminalize the city’s poor.

However, Wardrop said bus drivers have always had the discretion to waive the fares for individuals in special circumstances, adding that will not change under the new bylaw.

Adding two police cadets to transit was applauded by the unions representing the bus drivers and police and the Winnipeg Labour Council.

Transit would compensate police for the cadets services. It’s estimated that would cost $48,000 for the last quarter of the year, and $85,000 for a full year.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Friday, July 4, 2014 at 2:37 PM CDT: corrects typo

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