After a long debate on Tuesday, Halifax Regional Council passed the Halifax Transit Moving Forward Together Plan with a few changes.
The plan had been approved in April, however, council was asked to consider 23 amendments, which were mainly about cutting bus services.
A decision was put off at the last council meeting because councillors said they needed more information.
“HRM is a huge municipality, so you do want an effective transportation to all regions in the city,” Coun. Richard Zurawski said in an interview Tuesday. “But the transit plan is very difficult for anyone to understand all routes; people will not use a transit system if it is too complicated.”
On Tuesday, council considered four new amendments, in addition to the 23 changes.
Coun. Waye Mason gave the first amendment motion, which recommended having a consultant to review some corridor routes in 2018. These corridor routes connect regions around downtown to each other. He said the Halifax Regional Municipality will have more ridership data by that time, if they can have another year to look at these routes.
“It is a five-year plan, so we want to keep moving it forward; we want to keep making the changes,” Mason said in an interview.
His motion passed.
Other councillors were concerned that route changes would hurt communities that need public transportation.
Coun. David Hendsbee asked to change route 370 (Porter’s Lake) for half a year. Under the change, passengers can transfer to more routes to go to Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth. His motion was passed, as did Coun. Steve Adams’ motion. Adams asked to keep route 15 (Purcell’s Cove) the same as it is for now. However, Adams’ other motion about keeping route 402 in his district failed.
The plan, with amendments, was approved 15-2.