On Tuesday, October 7th, Halifax Transit will present, to Regional Council, their reasons for changing the scope of the transit network redesign . In a previous report to the Transportation Standing Committee, Halifax Transit stated: “a network that is entirely transfer based is not the ideal transit service for Halifax” and “Halifax Transit is now focusing on a concept that uses the elements of the transfer based model that are best adapted to the geography and road network in Halifax”.
The current network is broken beyond repair. It’s More than Buses has been lobbying for Halifax Transit to create a high-frequency, transfer-based network in the urban core. We recently launched our proposal for such a network, using 75% of Halifax Transit’s operating resources for high-frequency service and important feeder routes. The remaining 25% of service could be devoted to filling in gaps with coverage service.
We have shown that a high-frequency network, focusing resources on busy corridors, is possible in Halifax, Dartmouth and inner suburbs. Halifax Transit appears to be moving away from such a network. We have many questions for Halifax Transit. The most important are:
- Are high-frequency, all day transit lines a key part of your network? If so, what types of transit corridors do you envision?
- Can a high-frequency grid work? If so, where?
- What percentage of service will be used for high-frequency and other high ridership services? How have high-ridership services been defined? Our proposal devotes 75% of operating resources to high-ridership services.
- How did Halifax Transit weigh travel time tradeoffs?
- How much overlap are you planning on removing from the system?
- Are timed transfers planned to connect lower frequency routes to high-frequency services? If so, where?
Finally the most important question:
- What level of involvement will stakeholders and the public have on evaluating and creating this new network? What can we expect during consulations in January 2015?
We believe the process of updating Halifax’s transit system has to transparent. We are asking Halifax Transit to answer these important questions when they present to Council on Tuesday. Without this information, it is difficult to decide if their plans for the redesign meet the Moving Forward Principles developed through public engagement and approved by Council.
Moving Forward Principles
- Increase the proportion of resources dedicated to high ridership services.
- Build a simplified, transfer based system.
- Invest in service quality and reliability.
- Give transit increased priority in the transportation network.