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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Politicians on the bus!

Buses are for little people

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 8:26 PM

news_realitybites1-1.jpg

Let's be clear: Halifax city council is making significant headway in improving our feeble bus system. Some 15 new articulated buses will hit the streets in coming weeks, with 30 more coming over the next two years, and councillors appear committed to even more exciting expansion as laid out in the Five Year Transit Plan.

But as the first new buses were rolled out Tuesday (two hybrids costing a total of $2.6 million, with a $600,000 contribution from the province), and as councillors used the opportunity for a photo op, I realized I've *never* before seen a politician, or a city administrator, on a city bus. While buying more buses is good, if they don't experience it themselves, in a directly personal way, how can councillors and staff address the day-in, day-out ridership issues that so vex regular bus users?

So I asked all 23 councillors, mayor Peter Kelly, senior City Hall administrators and Metro Transit staff about their bus habits. Their responses, which are about what I thought they'd be, are collected at thecoast.ca/bites.

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