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CBRM hopes to get the buses running, but can't say when

Sidewalks remain under a pile of snow in parts of Sydney, which means transit services cannot resume.  (Matthew Moore/CBC - image credit)
Sidewalks remain under a pile of snow in parts of Sydney, which means transit services cannot resume. (Matthew Moore/CBC - image credit)

A week after record snowfalls in the area, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is starting to turn its attention to sidewalks so transit services can resume.

Eastern Nova Scotia was blanketed with 150 centimetres of snow. The municipality declared a local state of emergency last Sunday to allow roads to be cleared.

"There's the danger of having a lot of people on the road waiting for a bus and so on," said John Phalen, CBRM's manager of public works. "So we're looking at all those options and we're trying to get ... something going as soon as we can, for sure."

On Friday afternoon, many pedestrians on George Street in downtown Sydney were still forced to walk on the roadway while massive snow drifts covered the sidewalk. Phalen said the goal is get transit service back in operation but many roads still need to be widened as well.

CBRM announced on Friday that the buses will remain off the roads at least through Saturday.

Crews clear the main entrance to the Civic Centre in Sydney after record snowfall in early February.
Crews clear the main entrance to the Civic Centre in Sydney after record snowfall in early February.

Crews clear the main entrance to the Civic Centre in Sydney after the record snowfall in early February. (Jonathan Villeneuve/CBC/Radio-Canada)

Phalen said the hope is to have some routes operational by Monday.

School buses in parts of Cape Breton will be running on Monday. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education announced on Friday that classes are scheduled to resume on Monday for students in Victoria County.

A decision about classes in the CBRM will be made on Sunday afternoon once school officials determine if roadways are safe for buses and students.

School authorities say parents can choose to keep their children home if they have concerns about the conditions.

"I think parents need to make their own decision if they want to send their kids back to school on Monday, just like any other day where schools are open and conditions outside may not be perfect," said Lewis MacDonald, operations manager for the centre for education.

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