Yes. The Moving Forward Together Plan describes changes to every route in our existing transit network. Some routes will be shorter, others have been expanded and some have been re-routed to make them more efficient. Some will see changes in service frequency or changes to the daily hours of service.
Commuter rail service is not part of this plan. A separate feasibility study looking into the possibility of commuter rail service from Enfield to Halifax via the CN Rail Corridor was recently completed. Read more about the commuter rail feasibility study.
Over the past two years, Halifax Transit has undergone a comprehensive review of the transit network and developed the revised Moving Forward Together Plan. The plan proposes a transit network redesign inspired by the priorities residents told us were most important to them during public consultation in the Fall of 2013.
As part of its budget planning process, Halifax Transit purchases new and replacement buses every year. As such, more buses will be purchased in the coming years as part of the normal business planning process, but not specifically to support the changes of the Moving Forward Together Plan. The goal of the Moving Forward Together Plan is to figure out how to move more people to more destinations, more efficiently. Improved frequency and connections and more efficient routes will allow us to improve peoples' transit experience without requiring the purchase of buses outside of the normal budget planning process.
No. There are no increases in fares or property taxes described in this plan.
We anticipate that this plan will be implemented over five years, beginning in 2016. However, the Moving Forward Together Plan is intended to guide all service improvements over a much longer term (20 years or more), with updates to the plan to occur every five years.
The Moving Forward Together Plan transit network is a hybrid of a transfer-based network model and a single seat network model, designed to best meet the needs of Halifax residents.
In the midday, evenings, and on weekends, there is a heavy focus on the transfer-based transit model. During these time periods, transit users make diverse trips to a number of varied destinations and the transfer model offers the most efficient use of resources and provides the flexibility transit users need. During rush hour, when transit demand is largely focused towards employment centres, an extra layer of single-seat routes overlays the transfer-based model in order to provide single seat trips to employment districts such as Downtown Halifax, HMC Dockyards, and Burnside Business Park.
Apart from changes to routing, the Moving Forward Together Plan proposes some policy changes like, the hours of operations of many routes, new guidelines for bus stop amenities, and even proposes a new terminal on Windmill Road in Dartmouth. It also redefines how we measure the success of our routes with new financial and ridership reporting methods.
Snow tires are not part of this plan. However, we know it's something people may wonder about.
Halifax Transit uses an aggressive tread all-season tire by Michelin designed for commercial use. The same tire is used by many transit agencies across Canada including: Quebec City, City of Moncton, and Stock Transportation School Buses. It's also approved for use by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
During harsh winter weather there are often parts of our routes affected by snow and ice and we use Snow Plan detours to respond to those situations. Learn more about our Snow Plan at http://www.halifax.ca/transit/snowplan.php.
The Moving Forward Together Plan proposes to shorten a number of routes, making it easier for buses to run on time. The Plan also recommends exploring the construction of Transit Priority Measures, which would give transit vehicles an edge over the rest of traffic. Together, these will help to ensure transit vehicles arrive on time and to help make passengers' connections quicker and easier.
The Moving Forward Together Plans suggests some big changes to transit as we know it in Halifax. Changes require a lot of planning and communicating with users to implement properly, as well as more resources (i.e. buses, service hours) than we currently have available. In order to avoid either increasing transit fares or the transit tax, the Plan will take several years to fully implement.
If you find the conditions in a Halifax Transit bus or ferry to be uncomfortable, please take note of the bus' vehicle number (visible above the driver's seat) and contact the 311 Citizen Contact Centre to register a complaint. Once registered, Halifax Transit maintenance staff will look at each vehicle and do their best to address the problem.