Transit

Halifax will get 9 new buses for rural routes

Province announces $2 million for replacements

The Halifax Regional Municipality will spend more than $4 million, including $2 million from a provincial grant, to buy nine accessible buses for MetroX rural express routes.

“Halifax Transit’s fleet is coming to 100 per cent accessible,” said Mayor Mike Savage, who made the announcement on Wednesday with Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. “(It will be) more efficient, more reliable, more technologically modern and accessible.”

The transit system is one of council’s top priorities. Savage said the new buses will be 40-feet long and have low floors, and will replace older, inaccessible buses on the rural express routes.

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A new and accessible bus.   Yu Zhang

It wasn’t stated during the announcement when these buses will be on the roads.

McNeil said the province has a responsibility to help create “the best transportation in our communities across the province.”

The $2 million is coming from the provincial Public Transit Assistance Program, which was introduced during the 2014-15 year. Under the program, Halifax Transit can receive $2 million every year to improve transit services. The grant is based on total annual ridership and population.

The rest of the money will come from other funding sources, according to Halifax Transit.