Dartmouth bridge terminal slated to open August 27
The wheels of change are rolling along at Metro Transit, with a brand new terminal at the Macdonald bridge and schedule and route changes slated to take effect next month.
“The new terminal will open on Aug. 27 and that’s the same date as our next set of schedule adjustments,” said Tiffany Chase, spokeswoman for Halifax Regional Municipality.
And while some of those adjustments are minor only — mostly only by a few minutes to accommodate how the buses will go in and out of the new terminal — other, bigger changes are in the works for other bus passengers.
And ferry passengers are still waiting to see what if any changes come to the Alderney and Woodside schedules.
On Aug. 7, Halifax regional councillors are expected once again to look at whether to cut the Alderney service to 10:30 p.m. from midnight, among other proposed ferry service cuts.
Passengers from the Portland Street and Cole Harbour area will notice some changes, designed to make catching a bus to the Alderney ferry terminal or the Macdonald bridge terminal all the easier, Chase said.
“What Metro Transit is aiming to do is create a high frequency corridor where customers know they can go out and get a bus every 10 minutes (on weekdays and every 20 minutes on weekends), regardless of what the route is,” she said.
All of the buses on the route will make stops at both terminals, she said.
“That certainly changes the way people are used to taking the bus in that area. Aug. 27, they can just go out and whatever the next bus is... they can hop on and they are going to make a connection at either the ferry terminal or bridge terminal. They’ll know every bus goes there.”
Metro Transit is also expanding its services with a new route that will pick up passengers at Sheldrake Lake, Exit 4 off Hwy. 103, she said. Commuters will be able to park there and take a bus directly to downtown Halifax.
Not all the changes will make everyone happy. Route 3 Mumford, formerly known as The Manors, will go out of service next month. Originally proposed to be discontinued in 2011, it won a reprieve in order to try to increase ridership, but Chase said the numbers needed to make it viable never materialized.
And there are still no plans to expand bus service into the Middle Sackville, Upper Sackville and Lucasville areas in 2012-13.
Metro Transit continues “to study the feasibility and the potential demand for service in those areas,” Chase said.
Chase said the airport-Fall River bus service seems to be going well. The Fall River Park & Ride, which holds 90 cars, is filled almost to capacity on weekdays and there have been requests to expand the service to other stops, but nothing is planned at this time, she said.
Official ridership is usually tallied in the fall.