Committee OKs more bikes on Halifax ferries, but Segways a no-go

Halifax's transportation committee has voted in favour of more bike racks for the city's ferries, but doesn't plan to permit Segways on board.

Coun. Matt Whitman, who is not a committee member, called the Segway decision 'short-sighted'

Currently, each ferry has only one bike rack with six slots. (CBC)

Halifax's transportation committee has voted in favour of more bike racks for the city's ferries and, at the same time, agreed with a staff recommendation to not permit Segways on board.

"I see [Segways] as more of a novelty vehicle," said Coun. Richard Zurawski.

Coun. Matt Whitman disagreed. He's not a member of the transportation committee but had attended Thursday's meeting and voiced his concerns.

"I think it's short-sighted to rule them out," said Whitman. "They're no more obtrusive than a larger stroller."

Segways — a motorized piece of equipment that people can stand on — can be rented on Halifax's waterfront. (Don Ryan/Associated Press)

Whitman clarified that he does not own a Segway — a motorized piece of equipment that people can stand on — but said he has used them.

"I love them. I love riding them," said Whitman. "They're a joy to be on in a parade."

Whitman plans to speak in favour of allowing Segways on ferries when the issue goes to Halifax regional council for a final vote.

As for the bike racks, Halifax Transit conducted a survey and found that on some ferry runs, there were as many as eight to 12 cyclists.

Currently, each ferry has only one bike rack with six slots, but depending on the size of the bikes, sometimes only four will fit.

Halifax Transit officials say adding another bike rack should be straightforward but Transport Canada must agree to it before they can be installed.

About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca