Nova Scotia

Halifax Transit's airport bus fare may be going up again

Halifax regional staff are recommending council adopt a $6 cash fare for all trips on the express bus to the airport.

Staff recommending council adopt $6 cash fare for all trips on Route 320

Route 320 takes people from downtown Halifax to the airport and back. (Phonse Jessome/CBC)

UPDATE | The motion to increase Halifax Transit's airport bus fee was rejected, unanimously, by council on Tuesday. Councillors Richard Zurawski and Shawn Cleary were not present for the vote. 

Halifax Transit's airport bus fee fare may be going up once again only five months after the last fee increase.

On Tuesday, regional council will consider a staff recommendation to up the charge from $4.25 to $6 for all trips on Route 320 Airport/Fall River Regional Express — an additional $1.75.

Route 320 Airport/Fall River launched in May 2012 with an initial adult fare of $3.25. In September 2013, the fare increased to $3.50.

A fare of $4.25 went into effect late last September.

According to the staff report, Route 320 is "a different service type all together as it operates with different vehicles, service levels and purpose than other regional express routes and thus should be classified differently."

'Significantly higher level of service'

The report notes Route 320 serves commuters and occasional travelers. It says the route provides "a significantly higher level of service than our other regional express routes."

For example, the service operates all day seven days a week in both inbound and outbound directions.

Staff don't anticipate an impact to ridership if the fare goes up to $6 for the airport bus.

"This increase is only expected to apply to occasional travellers and since the $6 cash fare is still the most cost-effective transportation connection to the airport, ridership levels are not expected to be negatively impacted," the report notes.

Other options are more expensive

Other transportation options range from $22 on the seasonal Maritime Bus Coach to between $50 and $60 by taxi, the report notes.

As for residents who use airport transit, staff say they could purchase bus tickets to save money. One ticket costs $2.75, so a passenger would only have to pay an additional $1.50 on the 320 route.

Residents who purchase a bus pass would only pay an additional $1.50 in cash to use the service.

If the fare increase is approved, staff expect revenue would be between $30,000 and $50,000 annually.



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