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swimmer_spe Feb 9, 2015 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hfx_chris (Post 6907982)
And when you're trying to attract and keep as many people as possible, being seated is better. Both are important. I agree with Keith, more people standing as opposed to sitting is not an advantage, in my opinion.

I am assuming you have never been on the TTC's subways, or the Skytrain at rush hour.
Standing room only. Sitting is next to impossible. If they could have all the seats fold up for rush hour, they might fit even more.

curnhalio Feb 10, 2015 2:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hfx_chris (Post 6907982)
It seems to me most of the artics are already on the road during the day already, although I may be mistaken in that.

During rush hour, all 47 of them are either on the road in service or on a hoist being worked on.

Quote:

And when you're trying to attract and keep as many people as possible, being seated is better. Both are important. I agree with Keith, more people standing as opposed to sitting is not an advantage, in my opinion.
The MetroLink out in Sackville is an example where the ability to sit is a huge seller. People will get on, see that there are no seats available, and get off and wait to get the first seat on the next one out. That $2.50 you drop in the farebox pays for the RIDE, and not necessarily a SEAT on that ride. Standees are ultimately good from a revenue perspective as more people are paying for the same bus.

I can see how getting crammed in like sardines would be a turnoff for an optional rider used to their car, but it is representative of the ultimate big-city experience. There is not a major city anywhere in the world where mass transit vehicles aren't stuffed to the gills at peak times.

hfx_chris Feb 11, 2015 1:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swimmer_spe (Post 6908109)
I am assuming you have never been on the TTC's subways, or the Skytrain at rush hour.
Standing room only. Sitting is next to impossible. If they could have all the seats fold up for rush hour, they might fit even more.

Halifax and Toronto are totally different markets, with totally different priorities. A comparison between the two is silly.

swimmer_spe Feb 11, 2015 1:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hfx_chris (Post 6909884)
Halifax and Toronto are totally different markets, with totally different priorities. A comparison between the two is silly.

Toronto is the largest city in the province. It is also the capital of the province.

Halifax is the largest city in the province. It is also the capital of the province.


Even cities smaller than Halifax have standing room only during peak hours.

Drybrain Feb 11, 2015 3:47 AM

Standees are considered part of the capacity of a transit vehicle. To try and create a system where everyone can be seated all the time would be absurd from a cost perspective.

But the necessity of standing is one good reason to create efficient land-use patterns and reasonable density, not meandering suburban road networks which buses spend hours navigating.

hokus83 Feb 11, 2015 7:04 AM

I prefer standing and hanging on to a pole than sitting next to someone the majority of the people in this city are disgusting to sit beside

hfx_chris Feb 12, 2015 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swimmer_spe (Post 6909963)
Toronto is the largest city in the province. It is also the capital of the province.

Halifax is the largest city in the province. It is also the capital of the province.


Even cities smaller than Halifax have standing room only during peak hours.

The size of the city, and whether or not it's the capital of the province has nothing at all to do with this discussion.
There's a general disdain towards public transit in this city, despite the rather high percentage of the population that uses it. That number however could be higher, and trading in buses with higher seating capacity for ones with lower capacity does not help to attract those folks. Having buses go by crush loaded is not preferable when trying to win people over.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drybrain (Post 6910117)
Standees are considered part of the capacity of a transit vehicle. To try and create a system where everyone can be seated all the time would be absurd from a cost perspective.

At no point did I state that we should attempt to move towards a system where everybody has a seat. My point, which everyone in this discussion seems to either be missing or purposefully contorting, is that having more seats than fewer is generally preferred from a customer comfort point of view.


All of this however is moot, the last of the old high floors will be gone soon, and the city obviously doesn't have the budget for more artics.

worldlyhaligonian Feb 12, 2015 2:28 AM

After living in two different European cities over the past 3 years and now in a western Canadian one... I have taken alot of the comments here into context.

1) Its sad that public transportation is still so poor in Halifax... maybe people who drive cars should be made to feel some financial pain.

2) Standing is normal... but, frequencies are far too low in Halifax. This contributes to more standing on frequent routes.

Ultimately, its a sad state of affairs in Halifax public transportation. Don't lie to yourselves. I'm in a smaller Canadian city and its better. Smaller European cities blow Halifax out of the water.

Tax the drivers, get BRT and then move to LRT, and for god sakes... cut some councillors and put their salaries toward public transit. Its such a joke in Halifax, I can't believe the poor haven't started a revolution... or that the poor can afford cars still... somehow.

OldDartmouthMark Feb 12, 2015 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian (Post 6911746)
maybe people who drive cars should be made to feel some financial pain.


Tax the drivers

Sorry, but every time I read that sentiment I have to chuckle a little.

Penalizing the people who drive by some sort of taxation is both unfair and will not work anyways. Witness the spike in fuel prices that happens from time to time - this does not bring vehicles off the road. Trying to make it hurt financially for drivers will not entice people to take the bus, it will only force people who need vehicles into financial hardship (think families with children, people with disabilities, etc.). Those who can afford cars will continue to drive them, the less-well-off drivers will choose cheaper vehicles but will still continue to drive. Nothing solved.

This is Canada, no Europe. We still have large areas to cover with little to no viable options for transportation other than the automobile. Our train system is pathetic. Air travel is great to get between larger cities, but overwhelmingly expensive to travel between smaller centres (plus if you do the research, horrifically bad from an environmental standpoint). etc etc

If you truly want transit to flourish in Halifax, it's not that complicated. You simply have to make a transit system that is efficient and convenient (and fix the problem of buses continually getting stuck in the snow). If you provide people with an attractive and convenient option to their cars, the ones that can, will use transit.

This is all my opinion, of course, but I'm always amazed at how the government doesn't seem to realize that if they want to make transit work they have to make a significant initial investment and word will get around as to how great it works. "Build it and they will come".

Drybrain Feb 12, 2015 1:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian (Post 6911746)
After living in two different European cities over the past 3 years and now in a western Canadian one... I have taken alot of the comments here into context.

1) Its sad that public transportation is still so poor in Halifax... maybe people who drive cars should be made to feel some financial pain.

2) Standing is normal... but, frequencies are far too low in Halifax. This contributes to more standing on frequent routes.

Ultimately, its a sad state of affairs in Halifax public transportation. Don't lie to yourselves. I'm in a smaller Canadian city and its better. Smaller European cities blow Halifax out of the water.

Tax the drivers, get BRT and then move to LRT, and for god sakes... cut some councillors and put their salaries toward public transit. Its such a joke in Halifax, I can't believe the poor haven't started a revolution... or that the poor can afford cars still... somehow.

Geez, it's mediocre but we needn't start gutting the public service because it's so desperately bad. Are you in Saskatchewan? I know for certain that HFX's system is better than either of theirs--virtually no 15 or 20 minute routes, for one thing. Routes are all 30, 40 or even 60 minutes. They do have good city centre connections due to the linear street grids , but that's about all that's good about those systems.

halifaxboyns Feb 13, 2015 8:41 PM

While I don't fully agree with WH's sentiments, I do think that if HRM had the power to charge it's own vehicle registration fee (on top of the Provincial one - like Toronto had but Ford cancelled) you could use it for transit. That said, it doesn't have to be an exact copy of the Provincial Fee. It could be 50% of it or even 25% - but something that provides that supplemental support to transit on the backs of drivers. There are more of them, than transit. But I would only support that if the money is dedicated specifically to transit, not transportation (ie no new road interchanges - only to Metro Transit).

One of the things that came up at the last evening of Baconfest2 here in Calgary (insert blatant plug for Baconfest Halifax film festival here) was taxation and funding of transit. Rollin mentioned that when he worked in DC, they had the ability to charge a penny sales tax on items over $5 in value. The amount of money that came in was able to pay for the extension of the red line subway, expansion of library services and a few other things that I can't remember. This is where HRM and Cities in general need to stand up to the Provinces and say - we aren't taking away revenue from you. We are creating additional revenue over and above. Yes, it's a tax - but frankly folks suck it up. Building cities costs money and it's not cheap - if it was, I'd have my own city and so would everyone else.

There are other tools that cities can use that many provinces don't allow for. Tax increment financing (sometimes called community revitalization levies), density bonusing for taller buildings, etc - these are all tools that can help expand transit. This is a conversation that HRM needs to have with the NS government and say we need to grow up. We're 410k in population and the needs for better transit aren't going away.

worldlyhaligonian Feb 13, 2015 9:13 PM

Good points.

Its a super complicated issue. I think it starts with the fact that so many people need cars in Halifax... but public transit needs more ridership to be cost-effective. A transfer of costs from car owners to the public transit system seems to make sense?

Keith P. Feb 13, 2015 9:58 PM

Municipal taxation of things that are already taxed by other levels of govt just drives people and commerce out of the municipality.

halifaxboyns Feb 13, 2015 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian (Post 6914756)
Good points.

Its a super complicated issue. I think it starts with the fact that so many people need cars in Halifax... but public transit needs more rider ship to be cost-effective. A transfer of costs from car owners to the public transit system seems to make sense?

Ah - you ask an interesting question. Do most people need a car? If they live in the Regional Centre, I'd say no. The grid provides good options for walking, cycling and good transit connections - so good options. Once you get out into the 50's/60's curvalinear network - then yes you start getting into that need and once you go rural/ex-urban definitely.

So maybe the way to sell this for people who live in the areas where cars are necessary (not necessarily rural/ex-urban because you won't get the densities out there because of lack of sewer/water) is to say that by putting the money towards transit we can look at expanding the network with BRT service so they won't always need a car for their work trips?

They other key is to look at transit users as second or third class. One thing I can't stand and transit systems going cheap on vehicles. That was plainly obvious when Calgary Transit ordered their most recent LRT cars and went really cheap on the seats - the backlash was instant. If you invest in quality seats that are comfortable and buses with AC and make them accessible (stop announcements for instance) then it attracts more users because it's user friendly.

I was in Seattle for the first time in November and decided to go to to the Seattle Premium Outlet mall. Seattle's transit system is a mishmash of City/regional networks and they don't allow transfers between. I ended up taking Sound Transit (which is the regional transit system) which meant paying a cash fare each time I boarded the next bus (no transfers). But the quality of the buses I was on, outweighed the hastle (to me) of no transfers. The bus from Seattle to the first xfer station at Everett (for a BRT) was amazing. Nice plush seats, overhead baggage racks and even overhead lights!

halifaxboyns Feb 13, 2015 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith P. (Post 6914815)
Municipal taxation of things that are already taxed by other levels of govt just drives people and commerce out of the municipality.

I doubt a penny tax has that much impact.
Considering Toronto's transit issues and city issues for infrastructure, it won't matter where you go. People won't be able to escape it.

Drybrain Feb 13, 2015 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith P. (Post 6914815)
Municipal taxation of things that are already taxed by other levels of govt just drives people and commerce out of the municipality.

I wouldn't generally agree with this, but I think Keith's reaction is indicative of how a lot of people would feel in this province. Normally I'd say tough, but the province is relatively highly taxed and doesn't have a lot of wiggle room for increases.

However, new revenue tools have to be a part of the discussion. The reason Toronto's transit is such a disaster and hasn't been expanded is because politicians have been gutless about implementing those kinds of fees and tools, whether it be a car registration fee with funds going to transit, a city sales tax, road tolls, etc. Rob Ford was instrumental in turning the political conversation against these kinds of revenue tools in recent years--he insisted you could fund a massive system expansion with public-private partnerships alone, and convinced a lot of people of it. But he's wrong. The city and province need to start generating new revenue streams.)

But, in Nova Scotia, I think there's extra sensitivity to taxation given that the province is the second-highest taxed already. So that is reason to tread lightly.

Having said that, the money has to come from somewhere.

Dmajackson Feb 18, 2015 10:12 AM

The Moving Forward Together Draft Plan is now available for viewing and comments. I feel the best way for me to post about this is to do a quick overview;

Route 1 --> No changes planned
Route 2 --> Retains number but the local service beyond Lacewood is removed.
Route 4 --> Discontinued
Route 5 --> Replaced by Route 26 - Springvale. Peak only route and does not service past Mumford
Route 6 --> Discontinued. Area to be serviced by Route 22.
Route 7 --> Retains number and becomes a true loop route within current routing.
Route 9 --> Route 29 Barrington with extended service to Bayers Road Centre.
Route 10 --> Retains number and most of routing. After Tacoma Centre route branches to Westphal or Montebello.
Route 11 --> Route 50 Dockyards with an extension to Niobe Gate (Shipyards).
Route 14 --> Route 24 Leiblen Park. No service to SGR & Downtown but instead does a one-way loop through th universities.
Route 15 --> Discontinued
Route 17 --> Discontinued
Route 18 --> Route 4 Lacewood. South Street used for loop instead of SGR
Route 19 --> Route 9 Herring Cove & Route 25 Williams Lake.
Route 20 --> Route 9 Herring Cove. No service to SGR. Heads Quinpool-Cogswell-Scotia Square.
Route 21 --> Route 21 & Route 121 Timberlea. Peak-only service to Downtown provided via Saint Margaret's Bay Road.
Route 22 --> Retains number and routing. No service to Exhibition Park
Route 23 --> Discontinued. Area serviced by Route 21 & 121.
Route 31 --> Replaced by Route 134 Parkland.
Route 32 --> Replaced by Route 124 Leiblin.
Route 33 --> Replaced by Route 433 Tantallon. Peak-only and no service beyond Lacewood
Route 34 --> Route 136. No service to Glenforest. Uses Main Ave instead.
Route 35 --> Replaced by Route 37 Flamingo & 134 Parkland.
Route 41 --> Discontinued. Dal-Bridge service provided by Route 10
Route 42 --> Discontinued. Dal-Lacewood service provided by Route 2.
Route 51 --> No changes planned off-peak. On-peak service to Burnside Terminal.
Route 52 --> Route 3. Isley-Wright-Burnside Terminal. No service to "deep" Burnside.
Route 53 --> Retains number. Will become two-way service instead of loop-style.
Route 54 --> Discontinued. Mic Mac - Alderney provided by Route 55 Port Wallace
Route 55 --> Retains number. Service only to Charles Keating. Will service Alderney in lieu of Bridge.
Route 56 --> Route will continue DC routing but after Mic Mac will use Chricton Park-Thistle-Bridge.
Route 57 --> No changes planned.
Route 58 --> No changes planned. Route 158 on-peak.
Route 59 --> No changes planned. Route 159 on-peak.
Route 60 --> Route 6.
Route 61 --> Service to Portland Hills only. Portland-Bridge replaced by Route 5. Route 161A & 161B on-peak service.
Route 62 --> Discontinued
Route 63 --> Discontinued
Route 64 --> Number retained. Burnside Terminal-Windmill-Akerley-John Savage-Garland-John Savage-Commodore-City of Lakes-Burnside-Highfield. No service to Bridge.
Route 65 --> No changes planned. Route 165 on-peak
Route 66 --> Discontinued
Route 68 --> No changes planned. Route 168 on-peak
Route 72 --> No changes planned. Called "Dartmouth Crosstown"
Route 78 --> Route 263
Route 79 --> Route 259
Route 80 --> Route 8. Rerouted on Peninsula to Bfd Hwy-Lady Hammond-Devonhire-Barrington-Scotia Square.
Route 81 --> Essentially discontinued. Replaced by Route 81 Local service which services Cobequid-Bfd Hwy-Meadowbrook-Basinview-HPR-Bfd Hwy-Nelsons Landing-Oceanview-Nine Mile-Starboard-Larry Uteck-Bfd Hwy-Joseph Howe-Mumford. On-peak service for Hemlock Ravine provided by Route 190.
Route 82 --> No service to Millwood. Route 182 on-peak
Route 83 --> No changes planned. Route 183 on-peak
Route 84 --> Upgraded to local route status providing all-day service from Sackville - Scotia Square via current routing. On-peak extension to SGR.
Route 85 --> Discontinued
Route 86 --> Route 186
Route 87 --> Retains number. Services Bedford via Dartmouth Road and Sackville Drive to Sackville Terminal
Route 88 --> Extended to service Old Sackville Road to Sackville Terminal.
Route 89 --> Discontinued
Route 90 --> Discontinued. Larry Uteck serviced by Route 39 Lacewood - Bedford West.

MetroX services are untouched. Service extension is limited by the MPS. However a new route to Margeson Drive is planned in the future.

The ferry service increase that is taking effect next month for The Big Lift will become permanent.

Dmajackson Feb 18, 2015 10:35 AM

CORRIDOR ROUTES

These routes are roughly equivalent to HT's current "Core" routes. The will be number 1-19 with 10 routes to start. These are high-frequency routes with all-day service and will be the main service routes that Links and Local Routes feed into;

Route 1 --> Mumford - Bridge via Oxford, Coburg/SGR, Barrington, Gottingen
Route 2 --> Lacewood - Halifax Ferry via Main, Joesph Howe, Mumford, Chebucto/North, Barrington, Scotia Square
Route 3 --> Lacewood - Burnside via Main, Joseph Howe, Mumford, Chebucto/North, Bridge, Wyse, Highfield, Burnside TC, Isley, Wright. The Crosstown is a new version of 52 with no service to Bayers Lake.
Route 4 --> Lacewood - Peninsula South via Lacewood, Windsor, Chebucto, Robie, Inglis, South Park, South
Route 5 --> Portland Hills - Scotia Square via Portland, Alderney, Bridge, Barrington/Gottingen. On-peak extension to Dalhousie.
Route 6 --> Eastern Passage - Bridge via Pleasant, Woodside, Alderney.
Route 7 --> Peninsula Loop via Robie, South, Barrington, Gottingen, Leeds, North Ridge. Closed loop with two-way service.
Route 8 --> Sackville - Halifax Ferry via Sackville Drive, Cobequid, Bfd Hwy, Lady Hammond, Devonshire, Barrington, Scotia Square.
Route 9 --> Herring Cove - Scotia Square via Herring Cove Rd, Chebucto, Mumford, Quinpool, Cogswell, Barrington. Branch routing for 9A Herring Cove & 9B Greystone.
Route 10 --> Westphal - Dalhousie via SGR, Barrington, Gottingen, Bridge, Victoria, Woodland, Mic Mac, Tacoma. Branch routing for 10B Westphal, 10C Montebello.

Colin May Feb 18, 2015 7:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drybrain (Post 6914889)
Rob Ford was instrumental in turning the political conversation against these kinds of revenue tools in recent years--he insisted you could fund a massive system expansion with public-private partnerships alone, and convinced a lot of people of it. But he's wrong. The city and province need to start generating new revenue streams.)

But, in Nova Scotia, I think there's extra sensitivity to taxation given that the province is the second-highest taxed already. So that is reason to tread lightly.

Having said that, the money has to come from somewhere.

Toronto has subway stations that are ripe for high density development but the lefties oppose such development. Commercial development would go a long way to funding transit improvements in Toronto, in the same manner as development of rail stations in London.
We don't have that opportunity here but HRM could have developed the bridge terminal in conjunction with retail and office projects on that part of the Dartmouth Common and then purchased Brightwood as a new common to replace the huge swaths that were previously taken for public housing and private use.

halifaxboyns Feb 18, 2015 8:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colin May (Post 6920034)
Toronto has subway stations that are ripe for high density development but the lefties oppose such development. Commercial development would go a long way to funding transit improvements in Toronto, in the same manner as development of rail stations in London.
We don't have that opportunity here but HRM could have developed the bridge terminal in conjunction with retail and office projects on that part of the Dartmouth Common and then purchased Brightwood as a new common to replace the huge swaths that were previously taken for public housing and private use.

Actually Colin I think the Bridge terminal is an ideal TOD spot and it was identified in one of the draft concepts of the Regional Centre plan as an area for redevelopment with pretty intense densities (compared to what is there now).

If HRM is going to help transit - TOD densities around the transit stations that are in the serviced (water/sewer area) are really needed. Another area that really could be encouraged to change would be Highfield Terminal - pump the building heights up in that area and all around north Darmouth and put in some streetcars. Mic Mac could be more retail/commercial but still TOD. Mumford is already pretty intense with residential around it - so there isn't much needed, although policy could be done for redevelopment of both of the shopping centres. Policy is already in place for an area around Bayers Road Mall, but the mall itself needs some policy work.

Portland Hills is more first generation suburb - so it won't start flipping over unless a significant intervention (such as an LRT/streetcar) occurs. So I think the densities around it are likely going to stay as is - but you could grow up Portland street and Penhorn mall.


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