Winnipeg charter operator says more regulations needed in wake of Carberry crash

A charter bus operator in Winnipeg says he feels the government should enact more regulations and monitoring to ensure best practices and procedures are in place across the board. @_MorganModjeski reports.

Industry members say they expect the crash that killed 16 seniors near Carberry, Man. to result in tighter regulations for those operating charters in the province, but they stress more rules may be a positive.

Wajih Zeid is president of EZ Transit, a charter company in Winnipeg operating a fleet of 32 buses. This Chevrolet 4500 Passenger vehicle is a smaller, newer version of the bus involved in the tragic Carberry crash.

Chevrolet 4500 Passenger Vehicle, similar to the bus involved in the crash near Carberry, Man., can be seen at EZ transit in Winnipeg on June 29, 2023. (Photo Credit: Morgan Modjeski, CityNews)

He says the crash, which resulted in the death of 16 people from Dauphin and the surrounding area, sent a shockwave through the transit industry, and the crash will change the way the industry operates in Manitoba.

“In terms of safety, the design of buses, the seatbelts, the way the operators are certified to operate, and safety inspections. I mean, I don’t think this is something that’s going to happen and disappear, I think the whole industry and regulations are going to change because of this,” said Zeid.

He says they use a third party to inspect and do maintenance on their buses, saying it ensures nothing is overlooked or missed. He feels more regulations and a more watchful eye from the government on new operators is needed.

“It’s not just get them insured and get going.”


Wajih Zeid, the president of EZ transit in Winnipeg, says he expects the crash near Carberry Manitoba that killed 16 seniors will result in sweeping changes in the industry at EZ Transit on June 29, 2023. (Photo Credit: Morgan Modjeski, CityNews)

RCMP have said the driver operating the Quality Care Transit bus, a Dauphin based business, had the proper license to operate the vehicle, and officials with the company have extended their condolences to those impacted in the crash.

While RCMP have not laid charges or released the cause of the collision, they have said video footage reviewed indicates a semi involved in the collision had the right of way. As of Thursday, nine people remain in hospital, with two of those patients in critical care.

In Manitoba, all newly acquired motor vehicles require an inspection before they be registered in Manitoba. MPI confirming vehicles designed to carry 11 or more people, including a driver, used for transport in exchange for money require inspections twice a year through the Periodic Mandatory Vehicle Inspection Program.

The inspections take place at transport stations throughout Manitoba and by law, MPI saying it cannot comment on individual customers.

Speaking in his Winnipeg shop, Zeid says now is the time to make sure proper regulations and monitoring are in place for the industry. He says the work they do is too important to be done without government ensuring proper care, procedure and best practices are in place across the board.

“I mean you’re dealing with precious cargo, humans, children, seniors, whoever you may be transporting, so it’s super important, so before these buses leave our shop, they’re being inspected routinely, that’s checking all fluids, checking brake lines, checking tires. That’s before every single trip,” explained Zeid

Zeid says if those changes emerge, he hopes industry members will have a seat at the table, saying, they too, have safety as a priority.

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