Big changes in Metro Transit routes

More service on urban routes, less on rural routes

Big changes are in store for Halifax bus riders. Metro Transit has released its annual service plan, which matches routing and scheduling to the funding and service standards adopted by city council. Service standards for core routes are 40 passengers/hour for weekdays and 20p/hr for evenings and weekends. Those numbers for local routes are 25/15, for MetroLink 50/35. Community urban routes standards are 20p/hr for peak times, 10p/hr for off-peak; community rural standards are 15/10. When ridership exceeds those numbers, additional service is added; when ridership is below those figures, service is reduced.

The good news is that the bus system will expand by 10 articulated conventional buses, providing an increase of 29,770 service hours, and efficiency improvements related to the new bus barn will add another 13,690 hours, for a total of 43,460 new service hours. New routes being created are the #8 along the waterfront, the #22 to Exhibition Park and the #57 to Russell Lake. The #1, #20, #32, #65, #72 and #80 will see additional service.

The downside of the service plan is reduced service for routes that don't meet the service standards. The #3 will be eliminated completely, while the #33, #51, #53, #63, #82, #83, #87, #88 and #89 will have service reductions.

MetroLink buses to Portland Hills and Sackville will no longer run at night or midday, but the Woodside MetroLink route will be extended to Penhorn. Community bus service to BeaverBank, Porters Lake and Sambro will be reduced to commuting hours only. The changes will be ruled out from August through November. See complete details here.

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