City pushes back against Regina transit collision numbers

REGINA – Transit drivers in Regina were involved in about four collisions per week last year, but the city is urging residents to pump the brakes and take a hard look at the numbers.

In 2015, transit buses in Regina were involved in 198 collisions. The city’s director of transit, Brad Bells, said the department aims for zero accidents, but given the amount of time on the road this figure isn’t a surprise.

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“We’re out there a lot of driving hours. So 198 accidents when you total 365,000 of service in a year, we try to think that’s a fair measure to have inside of those long hours,” Bells explained.

The city has 115 buses in its fleet that operate about 1,000 hours per day. Bells said there are about 180 bus drivers.

Of the 198 accidents in 2015, bus drivers were at fault for 84 of them. Forty-six resulted in SGI claims, and racked up a cost of $183,429.28.

Bells said he doesn’t know of any injuries that occurred in these collisions, and most take place in the winter.

“Again we really don’t want any accidents, but when we do have accidents we are reviewing them and trying to correct the situation,” he added.

These reviews include going over surveillance footage from cameras on the bus, speaking with the driver, and performing additional safety training if the driver is involved in numerous collisions in a short period of time.

To Bells’ knowledge, the need for this kind of training didn’t come up in 2015.

For the purpose of these numbers, a collision includes the bus making contact with anything, ranging another vehicle to a tree branch.

Over the past five years, 2015 has seen the fewest collisions, with the most taking place in 2013 with 271. The average amount of collisions between 2011 and 2015 is 232.

There were 10 collisions in the paratransit fleet, all of which were the fault of the bus driver and all went to SGI. The claims cost was $43,992.76. However, these are not city employees, and the paratransit bus service is contracted by First Transit.

An interview request with First Transit was not returned at the time of publication.