The Liberals on rapid transit in HRM
More responses from provincial parties about their level of support for rapid transit in HRM! A week and a half ago, we sent a questionnaire to every HRM candidate in the provincial election. We asked them three questions about their support for rapid transit in HRM. Here are the responses we got from the Liberals.
You can read the Liberals full response below, but here are the important points.
1. If elected, will you commit your support to the Province contributing its third of the total capital costs needed to complete Halifax Transit’s Mill Cove fast ferry project?
The Liberals are committed to providing the Province’s share of funding for the fast ferry project. They say, “[w]e are excited to see the outcome of the study and look forward to continuing progress with the municipal and federal levels of government. We are committed to the completion of this project.”
2. If elected, will you commit your support to the Province contributing its third of the total capital costs of Halifax Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit project?
The Liberals don’t commit to providing the Province’s share of funding for projects associated with BRT (but also don’t commit to not funding it). Their response to this specific question states that the Liberal Government has supported the Community Action Transport Plan to the tune of $4.7M. But only $2M of that goes to anything in HRM, and to our knowledge, none of it is earmarked for moving ahead with Bus Rapid Transit. So this response just kind of changes the subject.
However, they do say, “[w]e look forward to ongoing dialogue and planning regarding bringing improved rapid transit to Halifax.”
3. Do you believe that public transit options in HRM are currently adequate? If not, if you are elected, how do you and your party intend to make transit in HRM better?
In their response here, the Liberals justifiably tout the Rankin government’s support for converting Halifax Transit’s bus fleet to battery electric buses. That is unquestionably a very positive step. But it’s worth emphasizing that slow and unreliable buses aren’t going to convince anyone to leave their car at home, even if the buses are electric.
(For the NDP’s response to these questions, click here.)