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Halifax Transit sees increase in ridership

New routes, Access-A-Bus contributing factors to increase in service

1 min read
caption The Scotia Square bus terminal.
Carly Churchill

More people are using public transportation in the Halifax region.

Ridership was up four per cent and revenues increased by 2.5 per cent, according a report delivered to the transit standing committee Thursday.

“This is like Christmas, when ridership and revenue go up,” said Coun. Shawn Cleary.

The sentiment was echoed by other councillors.

“This is great. The numbers are excellent,” said Coun. Waye Mason. He added he would like to see more data on buses operating at full capacity that are unable to pick up more passengers, to see where service can be further improved.

The report featured data from July, August and September 2018, which was compared to the same months in 2017.

Patricia Hughes, manager of planning and scheduling with Halifax Transit, said the Access-A-Bus service contributed to the increase. More trips were requested through the program this year — a 4.7 per cent increase.

There was a 5.7 per cent increase in conventional boardings – boardings on all standard buses – from 2017 to 2018. The number of buses arriving on time also improved between the two years. It’s now at 76 per cent.

Another reason for the ridership bump was major route changes in August 2018, when three new corridor routes — routes that service high-demand areas — and five new express routes replaced old routes. Minor changes were also made to some other routes.

“It was a lot of change for a lot of people,” Hughes said. “But it was a successful implementation.”

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  1. J


    I was to Express my disappointment and frustration regarding the #66 route to Gaston Rd. Make a long story short, many people in our area have called and complained numerous times over the past number of years. The #66, during rush hour in the mornings has been late frequently or has not shown up on occasion. It is extremely frustrating to leave my home and extra half hour or more in order to make it to my work on time. Also, during evening rush hour, our bus does not seem to connect to any busses and the 5pm bus is frequently late and the 530pm bus arrives no earlier then 550pm if at all. Obviously our calling in has not made any difference. We pay for a service that has expected arrival/departure times that are inconsistant. There are many times some of us have to walk down Gaston Rd in freezing temperatures to catch a different bus on Portland St. However, there are people in our area that are elderly or physically unable to do so. This is a disgraceful service. A couple times a month when a bus is late another bus states 'out of service' drives past us and then comes back in service leaving us scrambling to race across the street to another bus stop. This is unacceptable. Also, the time is not effective to allow us to make connecting busses at penhorn mall. If the #66 has to stop at at every stop, it normally misses our connecting bus being the #58 and the #61, which also sometimes leave a minute or two early than scheduled. Which for most of us find it essential to make those busses as waiting after that for the #59 does not allow some of us to make the necessary connecting bus at the bridge terminal! There needs to be a positive change for this route! As my last resource for a plea for change, I am seriously considering writing a letter to our district councillor and if that has no affect I will consider writing a letter to Mayor Savage and councillors in a plea for assisting change within Metro Transit. Please look into and consider this necessary change. I speak on behalf of the frustrated and fed up yet humble people on transit route #66! Thank you for your time and consideration.
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