Metro Transit (Halifax)
|Headquarters||200 Ilsley Avenue, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia|
|Service area||Halifax Regional Municipality|
|Service type||bus service, paratransit and ferry|
|Fuel type||B20 biodiesel, some hybrid|
|Operator||Halifax Regional Municipality|
Owned by the municipality, Metro Transit's operations area is the urban core in the western part of the municipality, namely the Halifax and Dartmouth Metropolitan Areas, along with adjacent outlying neighbourhoods and communities. Metro Transit is the largest transit agency in Atlantic Canada, carrying 27 million passengers in fiscal year 2012/13. In January 2014, regional council approved a study to look at a major design of the system.
- 1 History
- 2 Bus service
- 3 Transit routes
- 4 GoTime
- 5 Fleet
- 6 Ferries
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The agency's roots trace back to its four predecessors: Nova Scotia Light and Power Company, Limited (March 1928-December 1969) and Halifax Transit Corporation (January 1970-February 1979) in Halifax, and Dartmouth Transit Service Buses Ltd. (April 1957-February 1978) and Dartmouth Transit (February 1978-February 1979) in Dartmouth. In March 1981, both Halifax and Dartmouth transit agencies merged their services to become Metro Transit, taking its name from the Metropolitan Commission. Metro Transit Centre, the agency's headquarters and bus maintenance facility, is located on Ilsley Avenue in Burnside Park, with a satellite garage known as the Rapid Transit Garage also in Burnside Park on Thornhill Drive.
Between February 2 and March 16, 2012, Metro Transit operators were on strike action.
Currently there are 315 buses in the fleet, 223 of them low-floor vehicles, operating on 56 routes, including three Community Transit routes, two express routes operating as "MetroLink" which began service in August 2005, and three rural express routes operating as "MetroX" which started in August 2009.
Metro Transit operates 52 conventional transit routes within the metropolitan region of Halifax Regional Municipality (Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and Sackville), including the areas of Eastern Passage, North Preston/Cherry Brook, Tantallon and Herring Cove. Routes are numbered according to the region or type of service provided:
Route number structure
Routes in the 00s, the 10s and the 20s are primarily Halifax-based routes. Routes in the 30s are rush-hour only routes serving Halifax. Routes in the 40s are university routes serving the Dalhousie University Studley campus which, until summer 2010 operated only during the academic calendar (September to April). Routes in the 50s, 60s and 70s are Dartmouth-based routes. Routes in the 80s and 90s are Sackville and Bedford routes. Routes in the 100s are the MetroLink routes, and routes in the 300s are the MetroExpress routes.
|Category||Cash Fare||MetroPass||10 tickets|
In addition, a University student bus pass (U-pass) is available for Saint Mary's, Mount Saint Vincent, King's College, Dalhousie, Nova Scotia Community College (Halifax Campuses only) and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design students, and the cost is included in tuition fees. The Metro Transit fare structure can be found on the Metro Transit website.
Transfers are issued upon request on all Metro Transit buses and ferries. A transfer allows the user to transfer between multiple conventional route buses and ferries traveling in any direction without having to pay an additional fare. A transfer also allows users to transfer to MetroLink and MetroExpress buses at a reduced fare. Transfers are valid for 90 minutes after the last scheduled stop on the current run of the route where it was issued. Holders of a valid MetroPass or MetroLink Pass do not require transfers.
|No.||Name||Features||Inner Terminal||Outer Terminal||Notes/History|
|1||Spring Garden||Bridge Terminal||Mumford Terminal|
|2||Wedgewood||Water Street Terminal||Kearney Lake & Wedgewood||Used to provide service to Exhibition Park.|
|4||Rosedale||Water Street Terminal||Ross & Dunbrack|
|5||Chebucto||Water Street Terminal||Downs & Milsom||Weekday service only.|
|6||Quinpool||Water Street Terminal||Stonehaven & Glenmore|
|7||Robie||Merv Sullivan Park||Northridge Loop|
|9||Barrington||Point Pleasant Park||Mumford Terminal|
|10||Dalhousie||Dalhousie University Terminal||Invenary & Strath||Mic Mac Mall during peak afternoon|
|11||Dockyard||Bridge Terminal||Halifax Dockyard||Partially a re-reinstatement of a former route with the same number.|
|14||Leiblin Park||Barrington & Duke||Leiblin & Juniper|
|15||Purcell's Cove||Bayers Road Terminal||York Loop|
|16||Parkland||Bridge Terminal||Lacewood Terminal||No Sunday service.|
|17||Saint Mary's||Saint Mary's University||Lacewood Terminal||Weekday service only. No evening service.|
|18||Universities||Saint Mary's University||Lacewood Terminal|
|19||Greystone||Mumford Terminal||Greystone Loop||Weekday service only.|
|20||Herring Cove||St Paul's & School||Barrington & Duke|
|21||Lakeside / Timberlea||Charles & Richard||Summer & Trollope|
|22||Armdale||Mumford Terminal||Exhibition Park|
|23||Timberlea / Mumford||Upper Water & Cornwallis||Glengarry Gardens||Weekday service only.|
|31||Main Express||Summer & Trollope||Lacewood Terminal||Weekday service only.|
|32||Cowie Hill Express||Barrington & Duke||South Centre Mall||Weekday service only.|
|33||Tantallon Express||Summer & Trollope||Hubley Centre Mall||Weekday service only.|
|34||Glenbourne Express||Summer & Trollope||Kearney Lake & Parkland||Weekday service only. Used to be the Rockingham Express.|
|35||Parkland Express||Via Rail Station||Lacewood Terminal||Weekday service only. Used to service Rosedale.|
|41||Dartmouth – Dalhousie||Dalhousie University Terminal||Bridge Terminal||Weekday service only.|
|42||Lacewood – Dalhousie||Dalhousie University Terminal||Lacewood Terminal||Weekday service only.|
|51||Windmill||Bridge Terminal||Princess Margaret & Killkee||Weekday rush service extends from Bridge Terminal to Princess Margaret & Killkee to Joseph Zatzman Dr.|
|52||Crosstown||Colfold & Akerley||Chain Lake & Lakelands|
|53||Notting Park||Highfield Terminal||Bridge Terminal||Weekday rush service extends from Bridge Terminal to Summer & Trollope.|
|54||Montebello||Dartmouth Ferry Terminal||Caledonia & Du Portage|
|55||Port Wallace||Dartmouth Sportsplex||Portobello Loop|
|56||Dartmouth Crossing||Portland Hills Terminal||Wright & Countryview||Used to service Westphal|
|57||Russell Lake||Woodside Ferry Terminal||Portland Hills Terminal||Used to service Mic Mac|
|58||Woodlawn||Bridge Terminal||Dorthea & Lucien|
|59||Colby||Bridge Terminal||Ashgrove & Cole Harbour||Weekday rush service extends from Bridge Terminal to Summer & Trollope.|
|60||Eastern Passage / Heritage Hills||Bridge Terminal||Caldwell & Shore|
|61||Auburn / North Preston||Barrington & Duke||North Preston Recreation Centre||Used to service Bisett.|
|62||Wildwood||Bridge Terminal||Cole Harbour Place||Used to be the 62 Cherrybrook.|
|63||Woodside||Bridge Terminal||Irving & Franklyn||Weekday service only.|
|64||Akerley||Bridge Terminal||Akerley & McClusky||Weekday rush hour service only.|
|65||Caldwell||Portland Hills Terminal||Caldwell & Cole Harbour|
|66||Penhorn||Cobequid Terminal||Gaston Loop||Used to provide service to the Woodside Ferry, and Forest Hills.|
|68||Cherrybrook||Bridge Terminal||Cherrybrook & Hwy 7||Weekday peak service extends from Bridge Terminal to Summer & Trollope. Used to provide service to Ross Road and Auburn.|
|72||Portland Hills||Portland Hills Terminal||Finlay & Shuble|
|78||Mount Edward Express||Woodside Ferry Terminal||Cole Harbour Place||Weekday rush hour service only.|
|79||Cole Harbour Express||Woodside Ferry Terminal||Colby Village||Weekday rush hour service only. Replaces former MetroLink route 165.|
|80||Sackville||Upper Water & Cornwallis||Sackville Terminal|
|81||Hemlock Ravine||Upper Water & Cornwallis||Bedford & Uteck||Weekday service only. Used to service Bedford|
|82||Millwood||Cobequid Terminal||Sackville Terminal||Weekday peak service extends from Cobequid Terminal to Barrington & George|
|83||Springfield||Sackville Terminal||Springfield Estates|
|84||Glendale Express||Summer & Trollope||Sackville Terminal||Weekday service only.|
|85||Downsview Express||Summer & Trollope||Sackville Terminal||Weekday service only. Used to be the Bedford Express.|
|86||Basinview Express||Summer & Trollope||Hwy 1 & Rockmanor||Weekday service only. Used to connect Bedford and Dartmouth.|
|87||Glendale||Bridge Terminal||Sackville Terminal||Used to service Halifax and Connolly.|
|88||Bedford Commons||Cobequid Terminal||Bedford Commons||Used to service Atlantic Acres.|
|89||Bedford||Lacewood Terminal||Cobequid Terminal||Weekday service only.|
|90||Larry Uteck||Lower Water Street Terminal||Larry Uteck Roundabout|
|159||Portland Hills Link||Barrington & Duke||Portland Hills Terminal||Weekday service only.|
|185||Sackville Link||Barrington & Duke||Sackville Terminal||Weekday service only.|
|320||Airport/Fall River||Albemarle & Duke||Halifax Stanfield International Airport|
|330||Tantallon||Albemarle & Duke||Tantallon Rink Park & Ride||Weekday service only.|
|370||Porters Lake||Albemarle & Duke||Porters Lake Rink Park & Ride||Weekday service only.|
|400||Beaver Bank||Sackville Terminal||Beaver Bank Villa, highway 354|
|401||Porters Lake||Portland Hills Terminal||Grand Desert, highway 207||Weekday service only.|
|402||Sambro||South Centre Mall||Ketch Harbour fire station, highway 349||Weekday service only.|
Wheelchair – Uses Accessible Low Floor (ALF) buses only.
Rush Hour Service Only.
Designated Bike Route.
MetroLink Service (see MetroLink section below)
MetroX Service (see MetroX section below)
University routes that only operate during the university academic calendar year (September – April).
|3||Gottingen||1927||1989||Merged with route 7.|
|8||Windsor||1963||1999||Discontinued due to overlapping service from other routes.|
|8||Waterfront||2010||2013||Discontinued due to inadequate ridership.|
|11||Macdonald Bridge||1955||1988||Merged with route 1, later partially reinstated.|
|66||Forest Hills–Woodside Ferry||1987||1989|
|71||Forest Hills Express||1982||1989|
|165||Woodside Link||2005||2014||Replaced by new conventional route 79|
MetroLink is Metro Transit's BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) express bus service that operates Monday to Friday. The system consists of two limited-stop fully accessible express routes, connecting downtown Halifax's Scotia Square bus terminal, with the Portland Hills terminal in Cole Harbour on the Dartmouth side, and the Sackville Terminal in Lower Sackville.
MetroExpress, or MetroX for short is Metro Transit's rural express bus service. There are three MetroX routes, running between Halifax and Tantallon, the Airport, and Porters Lake, respectively. All routes terminate at Scotia Square in downtown Halifax, are handicap accessible and have facilities to carry bicycles.
Metro Transit runs a Community Transit service, allowing residents in some suburban and rural communities access to the regular and express bus system operated by Metro Transit.
There are three Community Transit routes:
- 400 Beaver Bank, offering weekday service between the new Sackville Terminal and Beaver Bank Villa in Beaver Bank via the Beaver Bank Road.
- 401 Porters Lake, offering Monday-Saturday service between Portland Hills Terminal in Dartmouth and the communities of East Preston, Lake Echo, Porters Lake and Grand Desert via Portland St, Cole Harbour Rd, Forest Hills Pkwy and Highway #7.
- 402 Sambro, offering weekday service between South Centre Mall in Spryfield and the Ketch Harbour fire hall Ketch Harbour via the old Sambro road and hwy 349. This route uses the same buses as the Metro X service does, and all buses have bicycle racks.
The fare structure and transfer policies for these routes is identical to the conventional service. Tickets and transfers from other routes are accepted, Monthly bus passes and U-Passes are accepted. Transfers are issued on request on these routes that allow passengers to continue their travels on other Metro Transit routes.
Metro Transit also provides Access-A-Bus service which is a dial-a-ride service for elderly and handicapped residents in the region. This service was created in 1981, the same year Metro Transit was formed. There are approximately 20 Access-A-Bus vehicles.
GoTime is the name of Metro Transit's automated vehicle locater (AVL) system. The current generation of the system (unveiled over the winter of 2007/2008) uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to track buses throughout the system, providing information on location and schedule adherence to the transit control centre. This information is also used to update Metro Transit's real time bus departure system available to the general public.
Each bus stop sign has a blue 4-digit GoTime number on it. A passenger can dial 480- plus the 4-digit number to hear an automated message telling them exactly when the next bus on each route servicing that stop will depart, based on the information calculated above. Also, GoTime monitors are placed at every transit terminal, and a few major stops, listing each of the routes that service that stop and when the next two buses on those routes will arrive at that stop. This information is continually updated as the central GoTime system recalculates bus departure times, using the data collected from the buses. In addition to this, each bus is equipped with an on board computer which continually updates the driver on exactly how many minutes ahead of or behind schedule they are, to ensure schedule adherence. A web-based component was developed to provide departure times information via the internet in both standard internet and mobile internet formats, however rollout of this service was unadvertised and was subsequently shut down.
Technical difficulties and limitations
Metro Transit publicly announced the web-based GoTime system in the Winter of 2007–2008 utilizing a pamphlet distributed in buses that had an incorrect URL (http://halifax.ca/metrotransit/gotime) to the service. This component, which is now unavailable to the public, was never correctly or officially released to the public.
As of January 2012, Metro Transit stated that "over 80% of buses" were reporting live GoTime information "as system testing continues."
The new GPS-based system replaces an older system originally designed by the former City of Halifax between 1984 and 1987, one the earliest real-time passenger information and transit management systems in North America. The previous generation system used wheel rotation sensors to calculate the distance traveled from the start of the route, which was then transmitted back to the transit control centre. This data allowed the system to calculate the buses position along its route, as well as exact departure times for each bus stop ahead of it. In addition to wheel sensors, door sensors were used to determine when the bus was at a stop, and a series of electronic transmitters mounted to power poles along each route allowed the system to further calculate the buses position along its route. As with the current-generation system, the previous system also had a call-in system where a user could call the 4-digit GoTime number on each bus stop and hear an automated message telling them when the next two buses on each route servicing that stop would depart, monitors at all terminals displaying real-time departure information, and on board computers displaying information to drivers on how far ahead or behind schedule they are.
The hardware to support the previous-generation GoTime system had been steadily deteriorating over time, as the last major overhaul to the system was completed in 1996. There is reference to funds being allocated in 1998 for a GoTime upgrade, however, it is believed that the companies that were contracted to perform the upgrade, failed to do so when they each went bankrupt. Due to the instability of the system, it is believed that sometime between 2004 and 2005, the "real-time" functionality of the GoTime system was disabled, as phoning the system seemed only to tell the scheduled departure times, not actual departure times; the original system's phone-in component used the words "scheduled to depart in" when real-time data was unavailable, and either "estimated to depart in" or "will depart in" when data of less or more reliability was available.
In August 2013, Metro Transit released a Request for Proposal for an off-the-shelf AVL/CAD system to integrate with the existing GPS hardware on the buses. The contract was awarded to Trapeze Software Group in January 2014. The system will improve the availability of bus locations and allow for greater integration with online trip planners. The system will also increase Metro Transit's ability to monitor bus performance and employee activity. It will also accommodate future technology upgrades, such as proposed farebox technological improvements.
|Manufacturer||Model||Model Years||Fleet Numbers||No. Purchased||No. Remaining in Service||Notes/History|
|MCI||TC40-102N Classic||1990||948 – 952||5||4||Some retired and replaced by New Flyer D40LFs. 949 is considered to be the Nova Classic prototype.|
|953 – 966
967 – 974
975 – 985
|975 & 976 were propane-powered test buses. The fuel provided less power than expected, and the engines were converted to diesel.|
|986 – 996
997 – 1000
|Originally designated for use on low floor routes, but now are also commonly used on non-accessible routes because of malfunctioning ramps and “kneeling” mechanisms.|
|New Flyer Industries||D30LF||1999||505 – 507||3||3||Assigned to the Beaver Bank and Porters Lake Community Transit service, but are sometimes found on conventional routes.|
|New Flyer Industries||D40LF||2002
600 – 619
|600 – 619 are branded for use on the MetroLink service, but are occasionally pressed into service on conventional routes.
600 – 619, 1083–1159 have air conditioning.
1022 & 1054 were destroyed by fire.
|New Flyer Industries||DE60LFR Articulated||2009||715 – 716||2||2||Hybrid diesel-electrics.|
|GMC/Glaval Bus||C5500/Titan||2009||516 – 525||10||10||516 – 525 are branded for, and usually operate on, the MetroX and Sambro Community Transit service, but also occasionally provide service on conventional routes.|
|717 – 731
732 – 741
742 - 761
|717 – 731 entered service on August 30, 2010.
732 – 741 were delivered December 2010 and entered service in February 2011 during the Canada Winter Games.
|526 - 534
1160 - 1161
|526 - 534 exclusively for the Fall River/Airport MetroX service.|
|New Flyer Industries||XD40 Xcelsior||2013||1162 - 1183||22||22|
|Manufacturer||Model||Model Years||Fleet Numbers||No. Purchased||Notes/History|
|CCF/Brill||T-44||1947||201 - 260||60|
|GMDD||T6H-5305 New Look||1969
|801 – 819
820 – 823
|Prior to 1981, these buses were owned by Halifax Transit Corporation|
|GMDD||T6H-4521 New Look||1969
|401 – 455
133 – 135
|Prior to 1981, 401 – 455 were owned by Halifax Transit Corp; 133 – 135 were owned by Dartmouth Transit Service|
|GMDD||TDH-3301 New Look||1971||130 – 131||2||Prior to 1981, these buses were owned by Dartmouth Transit Service|
|GMDD||TDH-3302N New Look||1973||137||1||Prior to 1981, this bus was owned by Dartmouth Transit Service|
|GMDD||T6H-4523N New Look||1973
|138 – 139
143 – 144
145 – 147
148 – 150
|Prior to 1981, these buses were owned by Dartmouth Transit Service|
|GMDD||T6H-5307N New Look||1981/82
|510 – 515
824 – 835
836 – 856
857 – 869
|Prior to 1981, 824 – 856 were owned by Halifax Transit Corp; 857 – 869 were bought after HTC and DTS merged into Metro Transit; 510 – 515 were purchased from BC Transit. 512 had an electronic sign.|
|870 – 881
882 – 895
896 – 910
911 – 920
|Originally had rollsigns, but some have since been converted to electronic destination signs.|
|921 – 928
929 – 940
941 – 947
|Orion Bus Industries||01.501 (Orion I)||1981||501 – 504||4||Purchased from the Toronto Transit Commission in 1990.
501, 502 & 504 sold to Kings Transit, Nova Scotia
|Orion Bus Industries||01.506 (Orion I)||1985||308||1||Purchased from the Pictou County Regional Transit Authority in 1996.
Sold to Kings Transit, Nova Scotia
|Saab-Scania||CN112A||1984||201 – 212||12||Assembled from 'completely knocked-down' kits by Tri-Star Industries of Yarmouth, NS; purchase subsidised by NS government in an attempt to create a provincial bus-building industry|
|MCI / NovaBus||TC60-102N Articulated Classic||1992
|701 – 707
708 – 714
|MCI was taken over by NovaBus in the middle of the 1993 order; as a result, 708 – 710 displayed the MCI logo, while 711 – 714 were branded NovaBus. NovaBus discontinued the articulated Classic immediately following completion of this order.|
Metro Transit also provides two passenger ferry routes, one connecting downtown Halifax with Alderney Landing in Dartmouth, and the other connecting with Woodside The ferry services are integrated with the bus services; the fares are identical, and transfers are accepted between the two systems. The harbour ferries are utilised by over 3,000 commuters daily Each ferry carries up to 398 passengers. All routes are handicap accessible and have provision to carry bicycles. The characters of Phillip and Phillmore, the ferry twins from the children's TV show, Theodore Tugboat are modelled after these vessels.
- Metro Transit – Proposed 2014/2015 Metro Transit Budget and Business Plan
- Gillis, Sean (6 January 2014). "Transit First – Big changes for Metro Transit". Spacing Atlantic. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- Metro Transit, U-Pass
- Metro Transit, Tickets and Passes
- Metro Transit, 2008 News Archive
- Metro Transit, Metro Express page (with planning documents)
- Metro Transit, Community Transit
- Metro Transit, Access-a-bus
- Metro Transit (exact author unknown) (January 12, 2012). "Over 80% of buses now report live via GoTime as system testing continues. (Twitter post)". Twitter. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- Transport Canada,"GoTime: Real-time passenger information and transit management" Case study, July 2007
- HRM, Halifax Regional Council Minutes, June 30, 1998
- Halifax Regional Municipality. "Metro Transit AVL/CAD Replacement - Request for Proposal". Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- Bousquet, Tim (16 January 2014). "Smart phone real-time bus locator apps are coming—really, this time". The Coast. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- Halifax Regional Municipality. "[Council Document] No. 11.1.2". Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- Metro Transit, Dartmouth-Halifax Harbour Ferries
- Media related to Metro Transit (Halifax Regional Municipality) at Wikimedia Commons
- Metro Transit's official website
- Complete route map for Halifax-Dartmouth area.
- Complete route map for Bedford-Sackville area.
- Schedules, maps for individual routes, riders guide.
- hbus.ca Community-based trip-planning service for Halifax