The fact the new transit map is still mostly illegible speaks to two major problems with how we look at transit:
1) Many think it should take nearly everyone to Downtown Halifax without a transfer.
2) We still haven't decided which routes are really priorities. Some routes - 1, 10, 7, etc. - should jump out on the map because they offer more service than other routes. Until we sort out our core routes, this will be a problem way beyond the transit map.
The same mediocre effort is shown in many transit decisions, big and small: the new bus stop signs don't tell you what direction the bus goes in; no schedule information or route maps at 99% of shelters; a lack of shelters and concrete pads; picking a poor location for the Lacewood Terminal; the generally brutal experience of transferring at Mumford (good luck with that signage).
We can't have a Metro system like a big city, but go to Montreal and see how carefully they use signage, maps and colour in their stations to guide riders to the right trains, especially when transferring. On the trains route maps are everywhere, showing connections to the commuter rail system. In the Metro stations and at bus terminals there are maps everywhere, helping you find your platform and explain where buses go. It is a very large system, but incredibly easy to navigate for the casual rider. We have much to learn from other cities in their approach to branding and wayfinding.
Our plan absolutely provides a large amount of service to and within the peninsula. The reason for this is there is a very large number of jobs and other commuters in a very small area. Downtown Halifax, universities and hospitals collectively represent over 50,000 commuter trips every day - in about 3.5 km square. There are people travelling to, from and within this area in large numbers, all day. Parking isn't free and is often hard to find. Add in the 7,000 employees nearby at CFB Halifax and you have by far the largest and densest concentration of jobs in the region.
By contrast, Burnside has 20,000 jobs in 8 km square. This lower density is compounded by poor road connections that make transit routes difficult. Add in the fact there's few sidewalks and free parking -- Burnside is not nearly as strong a transit market as Downtown Halifax, Downtown Dartmouth and many other areas.
We are proposing all-day, frequent service in both directions on main corridors with the density of jobs and residents to support that service. Our network uses approximately 75% of Halifax Transit's current resources. The additional 25% of service is available for additional services.
Tim, you have mostly ignored one of the most important achievements of this Council: voting to redesign our disastrous transit networks. It may not be as exciting as new tech or buying buses, but it is much more important. One of the Councillors who best understood the need for this change was Darren Fisher. Every time I have dealt with him on this issue I found him to be informed and thoughtful. Maybe he likes sports a lot, but I think it's very unfair to suggest he is a one-trick pony.
His good constituency work is among the best "we are repeatedly told". That's solid reporting right there (sarcasm emoticon here).