Big changes coming Monday to Halifax’s bus network

More than 50 Halifax Transit route changes take effect Nov. 22

Bus users in Halifax have only a few days left to get used to a huge revamp in the city’s transit system, which takes effect on Monday.

“It’s kinda annoying at first. There are so many changes,” said Bob He, who lives near the Bridge Terminal in Dartmouth. He was reading the booklet describing the changes inside the terminal.

“I have to get used to this as soon as possible,” he said. “But it’s fine. We always need some changes in our life.”

It’s a large-scale public transit service change, mostly affecting Dartmouth communities. The changes will also reach Halifax, Spryfield, Cole Harbour and communities between Dartmouth and Porters Lake.

Bob He consults the booklet outlining all the changes while waiting for his bus at the Bridge Terminal in Dartmouth.   Lan Jianfu

More than 50 changes are coming, including 27 new routes and adjustments to more than 25 previous routes. It’s all part of a larger plan issued in 2016 called Moving Forward Together, which envisions ongoing updates to the city’s transit service.

In 2019, large-scale adjustments of transit routes primarily in Sackville and Bedford saw 19 new routes and changes to more than 16 exiting routes. This year’s changes are much bigger.

“It’s our largest single implementation today and it will get bigger and bigger every year,” said Patricia Hughes, director of planning and customer engagement at Halifax Transit.

Route changes were posted on every bus stop in the city several weeks ago.   Lan Jianfu

Corridor routes, like Route 5, 6A/B/C and 7A/B, will make more frequent trips along high-demand roads like Portland Street or Barrington Street. Also, more than 10 express routes using limited stops will provide more efficient service, especially in rush hours.

Hughes said the update modernizes and simplifies the transit system.

“For example in Portland Street. There’s a lot of routes that go down there,” Hughes said. “But now it’s easier to learn when there is only one route (No. 5) in Portland Street all the time.”

Some routes increase coverage. Route 54 Montebello, for instance, will go deeper into the residential area near Columbo Drive and Breeze Drive. “There is an increase and decrease. But the coverage area definitely changes,” Hughes said.

Some routes will be discontinued. For example, Route 14 is being replace by the new Route 24 Leiblin Park.

Chris Arias, who takes Route 14 every single day, said he was depressed when he saw the notice of changes on the bus stop sign. “I didn’t know the change before,” he said. “There is no notification on the apps I use.”

Dejvwer Kaur is a newcomer to Dartmouth. “They have changed the number and the routes too,” she said. “It’s a little bit difficult. As a newcomer here, now I have to search the routes again. But I also think it has some pros and cons too.”

Halifax Transit’s website has listed routes that could substitute for discontinued routes. For example, if you take Route 32 every day then you need to consider taking Route 127 or 9a or 9b. If you used to take Route 66, then you have multiple choices like Routes 62, 67, 58 or 72.

The new route map for Halifax’s transit system.   Halifax Transit

Lan Jianfu

Lan comes from China

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