- Halifax Transit’s Moving Forward Together Plan established a plan for frequent service on key corridors by creating Corridor Routes 1 through 10. Those that have been implemented have increased ridership. Bus Rapid Transit builds on those corridors by establishing faster, more reliable service on four high-demand routes.
- The Rapid Transit Strategy also builds on the direction established in the Integrated Mobility Plan, which provides direction on delivering a choice of integrated and connected travel options as part of a sustainable transportation network.
- The specific elements of this strategy have been explored through various ferry studies as far back as 2003 and through the Dillon BRT study in 2018.
- BRT is fast, frequent, all-day bus service which allows people to move around the municipality easily and reliably. Unlike local transit which makes frequent stops, BRT has fewer stops which are located at major destinations and intersections, allowing buses to move people around more quickly. BRT also often runs in dedicated bus lanes, allowing it to provide reliably fast service by avoiding congestion.
- Additional ferry service is being explored to assess connections between areas such as Bedford, North Dartmouth, and Downtown Halifax.
- Design a Rapid Transit Network to meet or exceed HRM’s 2031 mode-share targets.
- Establish a long-term strategic vision for Rapid Transit.
- Inform long-term land use patterns to support development along Rapid Transit corridors.
- Establish the basics of the Rapid Transit Network, including the routes, station/stop types and approximate locations, and a desired network of bus lanes and transit priority measures;
- Provide high-level capital and operational cost estimates for the proposed network;
- Consider potential changes to Corridor Routes approved in the Moving Forward Together Plan; and
- Establish policy direction for long-term land use patterns to support more density near Rapid Transit.
What is Rapid Transit?
Why is Halifax pursuing Rapid Transit?
When did the municipality start considering Rapid Transit?
This project builds on a number of plans and strategies developed in the last five years.
What types of Transit are you considering as part of this project?
There are two modes under consideration: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and additional ferry service.
Is rail part of the Rapid Transit Strategy?
No. While larger cities often use rail as part of their rapid transit networks, the municipality has carefully considered the costs and benefits of rail and decided that it should not form part of the municipality’s transportation strategy at this time. Other cities’ experiences show that many of the benefits of rail service can be achieved with well-designed BRT.
How is Bus Rapid Transit different from the Express routes introduced as part of the Moving Forward Together Plan?
What are the benefits of a Rapid Transit Network?
A Rapid Transit Network can enhance access to jobs, amenities and destinations by making transit trips along key corridors faster, more comfortable, and more reliable. With new frequent BRT routes and the possibility of additional ferry service, transit can become more competitive with driving and encourage more residents to use transit and rely less and less on private vehicles. Doing so can help households reduce transportation costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build healthier and more resilient communities, and support more development near transit, so that new growth is transit-oriented and more sustainable.
I don’t take transit. How will Rapid Transit benefit me?
What are the goals of the Rapid Transit Strategy?
The strategy has three main goals:
What are the deliverables of the strategy, and when is this happening?
When could the Rapid Transit Network be implemented?
Provided the strategy is adopted by Regional Council and funding is secured, staff will aim for a complete implementation within the next 10 years. However, certain aspects of the strategy could be implemented sooner. The final strategy will include recommendations and a prioritized list of actions to guide implementation.
How might the municipality fund this project?
The Rapid Transit Strategy is a transformative project, but the cost to implement this could not be covered by the typical tax rate. Instead, the municipality would seek support from external funding partners and new or different ways to budget.
Will this strategy impact my bus route(s)?
No, this strategy will not impact any existing bus routes in the short-term. This is a strategic document that may identify some high-level changes to existing bus routes in the future, but no routes will change in 2020-21 as a result of this strategy. However, staff are continuing to implement the transit network approved in the Moving Forward Together Plan. Service changes associated with the Moving Forward Together Plan are communicated well in advance of any change taking place. Follow this page for updates on transit service changes.