Reviewing transit service from the Woodside Ferry terminal
Changes are needed to transit connections at the Woodside Ferry Terminal. Halifax’s Moving Forward Together Plan proposes minimum ridership standards that all buses are required to meet. For Regional Express routes, the target is 20 passengers per trip. Most of them meet this target. Three buses far fall short, the 78, 79, and 370. The 370 can be considered a coverage route, as it is the only service connecting Porters Lake to the rest of the municipality. The 78 and 79 overlap existing bus service and must be eliminated.
The 78 (Mount Edward Express) and 79 (Cole Harbour Express) carry a third of the passengers required by the service standard, and are not set to change under the Moving Forward Together Plan. We propose they be eliminated during the next schedule revision. The buses required for this service could be used to supplement the route 57 and 62 during the peak period, providing 15-minute service synchronized with the Woodside Ferry.
What this means for users is that every time you get off the Woodside Ferry, a bus will be waiting to get you to the Penhorn and Portland Hills terminals, where you can switch to other bus services including the 59, which together provide access to the same destinations as the 78 and 79 do today.
Based on our analysis of the proposed change, we feel that this would enhance two of the Moving Forward principles: increasing the proportion of resources allocated to high-ridership services, and building a simplified, transfer-based system. Given the overcrowding at the Woodside park and ride, having synchronized buses for every ferry during the peak hours could also alleviate pressure on parking, allowing more residents to leave their cars at home.
The image above shows how simple this change is. The only place to lose service is Highway 118 (the portion in red). Everyone else would see a bus running at least every 15 minutes during the peak hour, allowing more residents to get home more quickly every day.
The Moving Forward Together Plan has good principles to assess routes. Let’s use them and get rid of wasteful service like the 78 and 79.