Focus on Frequency
It’s More than Buses is calling for fast, frequent and reliable transit in Halifax. Great transit will help make Halifax a great city. We need transit that is attractive for more trips, for more people. Frequency – a bus, train or ferry coming soon – is a huge need. Providing frequency will get more people using transit, since most people won’t choose transit with a long wait.
Imagine a gate across your street that opened every half hour. Only twice an hour could people walk, bike or drive out. Mobility would be dramatically reduced. Shift starts at 8:30? Leave early to catch the gate. Want to pop home before running an errand? Catch the gate – both ways. Simple trips would need planning and lots of waiting. Opportunities might be closed to you: a new job; a night course; a visit to the doctor; a late movie.
This fictional experience is similar to what most Halifax Transit riders go through each day. Most routes only run every half hour, even in rush hour. It makes life frustrating for people relying on transit. It makes transit a hassle that people with a car rarely choose. Providing frequent service is key to gaining riders. Frequent service – every 15 minutes or better – is needed all day on busy routes, so people can choose transit for a variety of daily trips.
We support Halifax Transit’s proposal to add 15-minute, all day service on more routes in Dartmouth and Spryfield: current riders will benefit, and new riders will choose transit. Major routes in Halifax will continue to have frequent service, but Halifax Transit needs to provide frequency on even more routes. Busy, regional routes to Fairview, Clayton Park, Bedford and Sackville need frequency. These routes serve tens of thousands of residents and thousands of jobs. Great service – frequent service – would help make transit the best choice for more trips. So far, Halifax Transit isn’t proposing the frequent service Halifax needs.