Mar 27, 2008

Go Transit bus transport passengers across the Atlantic

Your transit humour for the day.

It remains unclear whether the stowaways were on the Atlantic Container Line vessel Atlantic Cartier before the bus was loaded, or if they rode the bus onto the ship.

Last week, a spokesman for Alexander Dennis - the Scottish-based bus manufacturer - said it was "absolutely impossible" that a driver could have smuggled the stowaways onto the bus.

The buses leave directly from the factory in Falkirk, Scotland and are driven 600 kilometres to England for delivery to container ships.

Four stowaways traveled across the Atlantic Ocean hidden in a double decker Go Transit bus and then sprinted away from a single commissionaire staffing the entrance of the Cerescorp container terminal in Halifax.

The four Algerian men then made their way to the Via Rail station in Halifax, where they offered to pay more than the listed price for tickets. They also wanted to buy the tickets using European currency. Their insistence on using either Euros or French currency and their willingness to pay in excess of the actual fare set off a red flag with the ticket agent. The men then travel to Truro in a taxi and were captured by town police before boarding a train.

Colin Kenny, chairman of the Senate national security committee, received an e-mail from Jeff Cox (the ticket agent) on Tuesday, the day after the senator criticized the federal government for not doing more to tighten port security in Halifax.

The agent's e-mail paints an unflattering portrait of the system set up to respond to the possible illegal entry of people into Canada.

Read the full report.

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