OPTIMIZING HALIFAX TRANSIT BENEFITS ALL OF US.
Everyone in this Municipality agrees that traffic congestion is a huge problem, and that more ferries and buses would get cars off the roads. Take one look at our route map and its clear our Public Transportation system is a mess, and inefficient. The result is limited accessibility for those who depend on it. While most of us never question why taxpayers should pay for roads, many feel that they should not have to pay for public transit unless they use it.
However, there are many costs associated with a transportation system that relies heavily on cars. We pay with our time, our health, our climate, and our literal tax dollars for wear and tear. Optimizing Halifax Transit benefits everyone. Travel by transit generates far fewer greenhouse gases than travel by car. As a result Transit improves air quality and slows climate change. By reducing traffic congestion, transit reduces travel time for drivers.
We can save time and stress for drivers, while working towards a decarbonized future for our children. If we invest in public transit, we can all save in the long run. We can make it easier for those without a car to live and make a living in Greater Halifax, and better spread the very concentrated tourism and student spending from the downtown core.
halifax: RAPID TRANSIT STRATEGY
Halifax Regional Municipality is developing a strategy to establish a Rapid Transit Network. The strategy would add three new ferry routes, 210 electric buses by 2028, and introduce Bus Rapid Transit to Halifax. If successful, it could make Halifax Transit faster than driving yourself... supposedly.
The Rapid Transit Strategy is based with good intentions, but I do not believe it fully optimizes our public transportation potential.
It is an excellent start though.
I don't think its enough for Halifax Transit to make it easy for us to commute. I want it to be convenient and preferable at all hours of the day, on every day of the week.
MORE FERRY TERMINALS + LATER SERVICE TIME
Optimizing our ferry service would lessen commuter congestion on the peninsula, and significantly free up parking within the downtown. If we maximized ferry routes, we could plan our bus transit accordingly, and lessen the need for so many routes to approach or cross the bridges. This would ensure all day ferry usage and increased pedestrian traffic in and around ferry terminals. It would also lessen Halifax Transit delays caused by bridge traffic, making it more reliable.
Terminals would resemble current Halifax Transit ferry terminals, with a secure passenger waiting area and loading dock, integrated with a public building, and be surrounded by mixed-use residential and commercial development within an easy walk. These ferry terminals would offer more employment opportunities to those without a car, and spread pedestrian spending from the Halifax Waterfront throughout the shores of the entire municipality.
Extending ferry service into the late evenings and weekends would allow 9-5 workers to easily enjoy the city, and not just work in it. Making the downtown cheaper to access would increase local spending, as working class adults would regularly spend a night out in the city if it didn't cost them a $50.00 cab ride to get home.
THIS IS NYC
New Ferry Terminals are discussed in the RTS for Mill Cove, Larry Uteck, and Shannon Park but I think we need more.
I'd like to see ferry terminals all along our shoreline in Fairview Cove, Fisherman's Cove, and potentially a Burnside commuter.
In addition, our waterfront is filled with bars and restaurants that are all open very late into the evening.
Many of the people who work in this industry do not own a car, and extending ferry service opens up employment opportunities for one of the city's top economic drivers.
SIMPLIFY BUS ROUTE SYSTEM
MOST HALIFAX TRANSIT BUS LINES SHOULD AVOID THE BRIDGES ENTIRELY, AND REROUTE TO CONNECTOR FERRY TERMINALS.
Bus Rapid Transit is a part of the RTS, and the Moving Forward Together Plan. Due to COVID-19 Halifax Transit is proposing to delay this year’s implementation of the route transformation project.
I do not believe we should wait til economic recovery to address our Transit problems. Our Transit map has been a mess for quite some time, and we finally have a path forward to address the issue. We cannot lose momentum on this now, especially in these times when less of us can justify the expense to own a car.
I would like so see a 111 Express Route, starting at Woodside Terminal and either ending at the Halifax Shopping Centre OR at the Waterfront Terminal, to create a circular loop connection with the Woodside Ferry.
To increase neighbourhood capacity, I really want to see Halifax Transit optimized to increase access for rural and secluded communities. In District 4, those without a car in Westphal, Lake Loon, and Cherry Brook, are limited in their potential employers due to lack of Transit efficiency. A lack of Transit service during evenings and weekends makes it difficult for these people to enjoy the municipality in their leisure time as well.
- Each EV bus would provide $24,000 per year in savings; much of which would be through reduced maintenance costs.
- More Haligonians using Transit will lessen single occupant vehicle, idling, and stop/start emissions
- More car owners using Halifax Transit will lessen parking shortages, decrease congestion, and urban wear and tear
- More ferry terminals will better spread the now very concentrated student and tourist spending from the Halifax centre
- Halifax Transit running late into the evening will lessen overnight street parking,
- AND Increase local leisure spending by making the Municipality cheaper to access at all hours
- AND increase quantity in employment opportunities to those without access to a car
- Car owners opting to use Halifax Transit vs. a cab/ride share, means more fares directly increasing municipal revenues.
- More Ferry Routes + Later service times will directly add jobs within Halifax Transit