Bus drivers not thrilled about guns

The Straight

There hasn’t been any Hollywood-style gun-and-run incidents since Canada’s first armed transit police started boarding SkyTrain cars in December 2005. However, when TransLink announced that these cops will enforce fare regulations on buses starting Monday (June 25), bus drivers had some concerns.

Members of the Canadian Auto Workers Union Local 111, which represents over 2,800 transit operators in Greater Vancouver, weren’t comfortable with the idea that armed police would be on buses to hand out fare evasion tickets, according to vice-president Jim Houlahan. “We expressed our concerns about the fact that people that have the ability to hand out tickets are people with guns,” Houlahan told the Straight . “We’d rather they didn’t have guns.”

On the other hand, Houlahan noted that fare enforcement by transit police could reduce incidents of confrontation between bus drivers and passengers, which he noted had sometimes resulted in assaults against transit operators.

The TransLink board will meet on Wednesday (June 27) to discuss a staff recommendation for a fare increase in 2008.

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