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Regional Council

Route 15 bus to Purcells Cove to be replaced

Only an average 52 people use that bus

2 min read
An out of service bus parks at a bus stop at Mumford Terminal. This is one of Route 15’s four stops.
caption An out of service bus parks at a bus stop at Mumford Terminal. This is one of Route 15’s four stops.
Brent Kelloway

Residents of Purcells Cove and along Route 15 will have to deal with a reduced bus service.

Council voted 9-7 Tuesday in favour of cutting Route 15 and replacing it with Route 415. Route 415 will cover the same area, from Bayers Road to York Redoubt, However, it will only be accessible during peak-transit times: from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m until 6 p.m.

Route 15 currently runs from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Coun. Steve Adams, who represents Spryfield-Sambro Loop-Prospect Road, wanted to keep Route 15 as is. He said there are an average 52 people who ride that bus and those who work in the evening won’t be able to get home.

“I’m going to ask council not to look at numbers, don’t look at ridership, don’t look at five or 10 an hour, or 52 in a day; look at the individuals,” said Adams at the meeting.

Adams said when decisions were made to cut Route 15 they didn’t consider Shaw Park, commonly known as the Backlands. He said many people want to visit the Backlands to go hiking and the bus is their only option.

A staff report from Aug. 8 explained Route 15 was supposed to be cut along with other low ridership routes as part of the Moving Forward Together Plan. At council an argument was made that Route 15 was still a necessary transit line because some individuals relied on it.

Purcells Cove residents were given a year to either increase ridership, or create alternative routes that would work with the plan.

Coun. Richard Zurawski said the Moving Forward Together Plan is flawed. He said transportation is an essential service everyone should have access to.

“Transportation is the lifeblood of our community,” said Zurawski before the final vote. “I understand that we have to fund it; we have to be fiscally responsible, but this particular route has been there for a very long time, for decades, and it does disenfranchise a lot of people.”

Coun. Russell Walker voted to cut Route 15. He said if this route was allowed to stay open with its low ridership, he would bring all the routes that were cut within District 10 back to council to be reconsidered. His area, Halifax-Bedford Basin West, lost five routes.

“My residents can’t get to the grocery store or the drug store any longer; the bus lines don’t go there anymore,” said Walker. “I have streets with a thousand residents on it that don’t have a bus.”

Council did not specify when the route change will take place.

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  1. S

    Scott Inman

    I just moved to Purcell Cove Rd from Edmonton Alberta. One of the criteria that my wife and I had was to move somewhere in Halifax that had public transit since we only want to own and operate one vehicle, hoping to lower our impact on the environment and the effects that come with urban sprawl. It is very disconcerting that Halifax transit is moving in this direction, the fact that they believe, taking services away from some people to give to another is improving their overall services, it is a backward mentality, and borderline socialist in nature. I fully understand that the transportation budget can only go so far, and I feel for those other neighborhoods that do not have transit services, but that does not justify cutting transportation services in isolated areas of Halifax regional municipality that have been essential for members of this community. I pay taxes to be part of the HRM and to be cut off from the city is not acceptable, there are no water taxis in the Northwest Arm, no Uber, and now no bus service except for a brief window at the busiest time of day. If there were other options like Uber or water taxis it might take a bit of the sting away, but unfortunately, Purcell Cove is now like an island right next to Halifax, and the only way off is to drive, further congesting and overloading Halifax's infrastructure, and having lasting effects on the environment. I will be continuing to look into what my high property taxes are actually paying for. For example, we have no municipal water services, which means no fire hydrants, in turn, leads to higher property insurance, now very little transit option, what's next... restricted waste collection, or may be restricted road maintenance. I am starting to see why Halifax is way behind other city's in Canada, in terms of growth, improving infrastructure, and public services. It has high business taxes, underdeveloped downtown, high property taxes, and now poor transit services. In this case, THE END DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS!
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