Nova Scotia

HRM to cut seniors manor bus route

Metro Transit plans to cut a route that stops at seniors homes and shopping malls in Halifax.

Metro Transit No. 3 Mumford connects seniors, shopping malls

The No. 3 is a useful link for many seniors. (CBC)

Metro Transit plans to cut a route that stops at seniors homes and shopping malls in Halifax.

The No. 3 Mumford, also known as the "Manor" route, travels from Mumford Terminal near the Halifax Shopping Centre to Inglis Street in the south end. En route, it passes Joe Howe Manor, J.H. Mackenzie Manor and Gordon B. Isnor Manor.

Metro Transit says ridership is down and they need to cut inefficient routes to expand other services. Some evening runs to Sackville and Purcells Cove will also be cut back.

One of the main new routes would be a bus to the Halifax Stanfield International Airport that would start in May.

The No. 3 Mumford was cut from four to three runs last year. In 2010, Metro Transit planned to cut the route completely, but backed down in the face of protests.

Will benefit 8,000 bus users

Eddie Robar, head of Metro Transit, said too few people were using it.

"That ridership has gone down by about 20 people a day since last year," he said.

"The reductions that we are making on these efficiencies affect about 425 people and the improvements that we make affect about 8,000 people."

Robar said it was not carrying enough people.

  • The route costs about $82,000 a year to operate
  • It averages 14 passengers an hour, or 82 a day
  • Metro Transit service standards call for a minimum of 25 passengers per hour to be viable

Dawn Sloan, the councillor for downtown, attempted to reinstate the route Monday, but her motion was defeated. The last time the route was cut, seniors rallied, signing petitions and attending rallies.

"I'm a little disappointed," Sloane said. "I have a feeling we're going to hear from them [seniors] quite soon."  

She vowed to keep trying to save it, or introduce free transit rides for seniors at some times of the day. 

Seniors disappointed

Shirley Martell, a senior citizen who has lived at the Joe Howe Manor for 18 years, regularly uses the bus. She said others use the No. 3 not just for shopping, but also for medical appointments and personal visits.

"We've been expecting this," she said of the cut. "I think it's a sin because a lot of seniors depend on it."  

She said she did not plan to contact her councillor as she didn't think it would have any effect. Other routes cover similar territory, but not as conveniently.

Council will vote on the budget after debating it. If they pass it, the Metro Transit changes will go forward. The No. 3 would stop in August.