Nova Scotia

Dartmouth bus terminal expansion rolls forward

Halifax regional council has paved the way for a major expansion of the bus terminal by the Dartmouth Sportsplex.

Halifax regional council has paved the way for a major expansion of the bus terminal by the Dartmouth Sportsplex.

Following a public hearing and three-hour debate Tuesday, council voted 20-3 in support of a zoning change so the $9.5-million project can advance to the next stage.

"I'm convinced we're doing it for the right reason, and that is the common good,"  said Coun. Bill Karsten.

The bus terminal near the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge is the busiest transit hub in the Halifax Regional Municipality, and it's expected to get even busier.

An overhaul is overdue, said Wayne MacKenzie, with the union representing transit workers.

"There is no place there now for wheelchair accessibility. The safety at night is terrible for our drivers, terrible for the public," said MacKenzie, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 508.

In addition, he noted, there are no washrooms.

The reworked transit hub will take up part of a city forest between the Sportsplex and Dartmouth High School.

During the public hearing, Michael Cosgrove urged council not to use Dartmouth Common land. He said the HRM should find another site.

"Parks are the shared backyards of city residents. They are valuable and irreplaceable," said Cosgrove, who lives in the area.

The next step is to come up with a detailed design of the transit facility.

Metro Transit hopes to begin construction before the end of the year. Once completed, the revamped hub is expected to see an average of 17,000 passengers every weekday.