Q (IMTB): How did Halifax Transit weigh travel time trade-offs?
A (Eddie Robar, Halifax Transit): As we analyze and refine the draft network, we look at factors that influence the customer experience such as the access and egress to the transit stop, the total number of transfers to complete a trip, transfer location (on street versus at a terminal), frequency between connecting services, and total travel time, to estimate the attractiveness of the proposed service.
Travel time calculations should consider the wait time and walk times for the average traveler on a route, in addition to travel time.
Additionally, some riders may have increased travel time with a new network. Some of these trips may become unattractive – some routes or areas may lose riders. It’s More than Buses feels this could be an acceptable tradeoff, as not every route in the system can be designed to attract large numbers of riders. Adding additional direct routes or modifying the overall network to try and retain or attract riders in areas with few employees or residents does not make sense. These areas should be designed to have coverage routes, and resources for high ridership routes should be re-directed to key corridors.
Q (IMTB): Are timed transfers planned to connect lower frequency routes to high-frequency services? If so, where?
A (Eddie Robar, Halifax Transit): Timed transfers are one of the tools that we are considering as part of the MFTP, and are most valuable when connecting medium and low frequency routes. We look forward to more discussion about where they are most useful once the draft plan is released.
We support the use of both timed transfers and branching in order to reduce route overlap, reduce the system’s complexity and better match transit demand to service levels.
Some neighbourhoods may lose a direct route to downtown. This may mean losing some current riders, but the shorter routes, simpler network and higher frequency will attract new riders on the core high frequency network.