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Policies and Guidelines

Halifax Transit has policies and guidelines designed to ensure a positive and safe travel experience for both our bus/ferry operators and, most importantly, our passengers. Please view the policy/guideline that pertains to you:

Bicycle Rack

Bike racks are located at the front of fitted buses and have the capacity to hold two bikes. The usage of the racks will be done on a first come first serve basis. Passengers themselves are responsible for both loading and unloading of bicycles on racks. Bicycles are prohibited from the interior of buses; if rack space is not available, passengers who wish to travel with bicycles must wait for the next bus with rack space. Racks are available for use year round and no cyclist is to be prohibited use when an open space on rack is available.

 

Passenger Luggage

Passengers are allowed to travel with luggage on all Halifax Transit buses only if the luggage can be safely stowed on the floor directly in front of you, on your lap, or in the overhead luggage rack where provided (MetroX Airport/Fall River buses only). This policy is in alignment with provincial regulations which stipulate that the aisle and doorways must be clear of any items that may impede the flow of passengers.

 

Bags/Backpacks

Halifax Transit passengers are asked to be considerate of others when transporting bags/backpacks on vehicles; the following regulations have been developed:

  • Customers with bags/backpacks shall allow ample room for other passengers to safely manoeuvre on and off vehicles.
  • Customers with bags/backpacks shall occupy one seat only; bags/backpacks shall be kept on the lap or stowed beneath the seat.

 

Surveillance Cameras

Presently, all of Halifax Transit's bus fleet, as well as its ferry terminals, have been outfitted with surveillance cameras to ensure greater security for its passengers and operators.

Signs and/or decals have been posted on the buses and terminals to advise passengers of the presence of cameras, as required by privacy laws.

 

Smoking

In accordance with the Smoke-free Places Act. 2002, c. 12, s. 1.
“Smoking is prohibited inside Halifax Transit buildings, terminals and transit shelters, and on all transit vehicles, including ferries. Smoking is also prohibited with four (4) metres (13 feet) of entrances to any entrances, air-intake vents and open windows of Halifax Transit buildings and terminals." Further, Halifax has taken a pro-active stance on the use of e-cigarettes which are classified in the same vein cigarettes. Therefore, any use of e-cigarettes is prohibited inside Halifax Transit buildings and terminals, and on all transit vehicles, including ferries.

Food and Beverages

Bus passengers:
Only food and drink carried within sealable (spill proof) containers is permitted on Halifax Transit buses. As there is the potential for spillage during the acceleration or deceleration of a transit bus, and as buses may decelerate rapidly to avoid traffic hazards, food of any kind may not be consumed. Beverages such as coffee may be consumed on Halifax Transit buses contingent on the use of sealable containers. Single use disposable coffee cups are not permitted.

Ferry passengers:
As acceleration and deceleration is relatively gentle on Halifax Transit ferries, food and single use coffee cups are permitted. For the safety and comfort of all passengers, please deposit associated waste in the containers provided.
Under no circumstances is open alcohol allowed onboard or to be consumed on any Halifax Transit vehicle.

Transit operators:
Operators are permitted to eat on their bus between runs only. Coffee cups are to be kept in the holders installed in the operator area. No items are permitted on the dash of the bus. Operators are encouraged to eat at transit terminals whenever possible.
Under no circumstances are operators to offer any food products to passengers riding Halifax Transit vehicles.


Scooters

Mobility scooters are allowed on all Access-A-Buses, designated ALF conventional bus routes and ferries. Maximum size restrictions are:

  • 3-Wheel Scooters: 40” x 21.125”
  • 4-Wheel Scooters: 40.25” x 21.25”

All mobility devices will require at least 2 anchor/tie down points, 4 anchor/tie down points when possible,  to secure the device to the bus.  Users of mobility devices can purchase straps to create anchor points in order to secure the device to the bus.  These straps can be purchased at most mobility device retailers. Passengers using scooters are required to manoeuvre into the docking-station and transfer to a fixed transit seat independently.  The operator will then secure the mobile device to the bus.

Service Animals

Customers who require the support of a service animal are permitted to bring their service animals into all Halifax Transit facilities and on all vehicles and vessels. For the safety of all customers, service animals must be, at all times, securely leashed and under the care and control of the owner. Transit operators may deny access to a service animal if the operator has reasonable grounds to believe that the service animal poses a risk of injury to other passengers. The operator will not be held responsible if a service animal causes injury to a passenger. Customers are not required to carry identification for their service animal; however, Halifax Transit encourages the use of certification documents or municipally issued Service Animal Identification (ID) tags to assist transit operators in distinguishing between service animals and pets. Customers without identification for their service animal will be asked to provide contact information (name, address and telephone number) to facilitate their future access to the transit system.For the convenience of passengers who require the support of a service animal but who do not have or are unable to conveniently carry certification identification, the municipality will provide an identifiable tag to individuals who require a service animal. This tag will be provided through the animal licencing process that is currently in place. You can license or renew the license for your service animal in person at any municipal Citizen Contact Centre or select veterinary clinics.

Mail a completed licensing form with supporting documentation to:
Municipal Dog Licensing
PO Box 1749
Halifax NS B3J 3A5

OR

Call the Citizen Contact Centre at 311 or 1-800-835-6428 (toll-free in Nova Scotia only) - license renewals only.

Applications will be reviewed and approved by staff following which identification documentation will be provided to the applicant.


Passenger Clothing

To gain access onto a Halifax Transit vehicle, passengers are required to wear:
Top, bottoms, and footwear; those failing to meet these requirements will be denied service.
Further, all passengers should dress appropriately for public travel. For example those passengers who are coming from the beach, lake, or pool should make sure their clothes are dry when boarding. Drivers at any time have discretion to disallow a passenger from boarding a vehicle should the person in question detract from other passenger’s ability to safely use transit. Lastly, transit operators shall not deny access to passengers who are wearing religious, cultural or medical clothing, which may include face coverings.


Anti-Idling

A consistent approach is taken across all Halifax business units to ensure that all employees operating municipal vehicles adhere to the following limitations:

  • Vehicles shall never be left idling when unattended
  • Engine warm up periods will not exceed one minute
  • Vehicles shall be shut down whenever idling periods are expected to exceed one minute

*In accordance with the anti-idling policy, municipal vehicles are not permitted access to drive through services as this is considered unnecessary idling.

Halifax Transit operators are expected to adhere to the three minute rule. Specifically, during any layover in excess of minutes, operators are expected to shut down the bus. This also adheres to engine warm up periods which should not exceed minutes prior to departure time (provided air pressure for air brake systems are fully charged and all safety provisions are in place).

Exceptions to this policy have been identified and only exist under the following circumstances:

  • For vehicle maintenance and diagnosis purposes (to be kept to a minimum)
  • Under extreme weather conditions (heat/cold) or any other time when the health and safety of the employee or others may be jeopardized
  • To enable proper snow/ice clearing from vehicles
  • If the unit is not expected to be able to restart due to a mechanical problem. In this case, the vehicle is to be sent to bus maintenance for repair
  • Vehicles that need to be running to support operational requirements or while on an emergency scene
  • Transit vehicles in service while carrying passengers
  • Engine is immediately required to power auxiliary equipment. (Hoist, lift platforms, hydraulic and water pumps, video surveillance, cameras, MDTs, communication radios, etc.)
  • This policy does not apply to typical stop and go traffic or when the unit is used for traffic control and is required to be running


Strollers

Those passengers who wish to bring strollers on board Halifax Transit vehicles must first make sure their stroller size meets the recommended acceptable size of no larger than 42" x 22.5" (double wide strollers will not be allowed). The transit operator will have ultimate discretion based on the size of the stroller or the amount of room available on the bus due to load size.


Garbage and Recycling

In order to maintain a safe and sanitary environment, the transportation of garbage, recycling or composting on Halifax Transit vehicles is prohibited. Suspected violators shall be denied access to a vehicle.

Lost and Found

All found items are catalogued by the Halifax Transit Lost & Found department. Valuable items are held for 30 days. Items not deemed valuable are held for 14 days. Perishable items are disposed of immediately. Halifax Transit staff do their best to contact the owner of the item. The Lost & Found department can be reached at 902-490-6617.

Passenger Conduct

Public transportation is a shared experience and is dependent on cooperation and consideration of all parties involved if a safe and enjoyable environment is to exist. Any individuals who violate this policy will face repercussions which can include being removed from Halifax Transit vehicles to laying charges through Halifax Regional Police. It is the goal that by clearly outlining inappropriate behaviours this policy will be self-regulating.

Behaviours which are not tolerated on any Halifax Transit vehicles include:

  • Passengers must refrain from using profanity or any type of physical altercations (including horse play which may be interpreted as fighting) while riding any Halifax Transit vehicle.
  • Any behaviour which causes damage, in any form, to a Halifax Transit vehicle. Ex: graffiti, burn marks, etc

Should any of the above behaviours be observed on any vehicle Halifax Transit operators have the authority to deny passengers the right to board Halifax Transit vehicles or remove any passenger who may be causing disturbance or damaging the vehicle. If the passenger refuses and continues disruptive behaviour, mobile supervisors are to be contacted.

Passenger etiquette has been developed to outline and encourage positive passenger behaviour in order provide the most enjoyable experience to the greatest number of Halifax Transit customers. The following are guidelines/procedures which passengers are expected to follow while using transit vehicles:

  • Passengers should always move to the back of the bus upon boarding
  • Operators are required to ask passengers to “move to the back of the bus, please”. This procedure enables passengers to board who may otherwise be forced to wait for the next bus.
  • Keep personal volume levels at a reasonable and considerate level
  • Passengers who choose to listen to iPods or other audio equipment must do so with headphones and at a low volume out of respect for others
  • Passengers who choose to use cell phones or other mobile devices are requested to keep the conversation to a minimum and at a low volume
  • Whenever possible, share seats with those who may require them
  • Traditionally it is a sign of respect and courtesy to give up one's seat for a senior citizen or for small children. This kind gesture also provides a safer ride for everyone as there is less chance of able-bodied riders falling while standing on a bus
  • Be aware of other passengers sensitivities
  • Many people suffer from allergies to scented products. Passengers should avoid wearing strongly scented perfumes on board transit vehicles

Passengers who ignore the above suggestions will be reminded of passenger etiquette by transit operators and encouraged to be considerate of fellow passengers.


Pets

Pets are not allowed on Halifax Transit vehicles unless properly restrained in a closed pet container that prevents the pet from escaping. Passengers carrying an appropriate container may travel with a pet either on their lap or placed on the floor. During the trip, pet containers must not impede free passage of customers or block any doors. Passengers should ensure cages are clean, free of odor and have no sharp edges.

The transit operator, at his or her discretion, may not allow a passenger to board with their pet if there is a concern for the safety or comfort of fellow passengers. If only standing room is available the transit operator may refuse passage to the pet and pet owner even with an adequate container. Passengers must always respect the transit operator's decision.

 

Request-A-Stop

This program is available for the following Halifax Transit customers:
1. Unaccompanied persons travelling on conventional service buses after dusk.
2. Mobility impaired passengers who have access to the program 24 hours a day when necessary for special circumstances, such as poor weather.

Should a passenger fall into one of the two categories above they may Request-A-Stop to disembark at a location other than a regular bus stop along the standard route. To do so a passenger must identify to the operator as first, meeting the requirements for the program and second, to give notice of the requested stop location at least one stop prior to the request. In order to meet a request, the operator must be able to stop safely and obey transit safety regulations. Therefore, if the passenger request is deemed unsafe the operator has the right to deny that request and choose an alternate stopping point. Finally, the Request-A-Stop Program is only honoured on regular service routes. Any request on Express Routes, MetroX Routes or MetroLink Routes will not be considered.

 

Seniors Ride Free

Every Tuesday seniors aged 65 and older can ride for free from within the following times (10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) – (6 p.m. – end of day) This program includes all conventionally scheduled bus routes, community transit, and ferries only. MetroX, MetroLink and Access-A-Bus services are excluded from this initiative. Seniors should be prepared to show proof of age by a recognized photo identification card (NS Photo ID, driver’s license, etc).