Nova Scotia

More people taking Halifax Transit buses after major route overhaul

Halifax Transit faced mixed reviews when it implemented the biggest change to the system in 30 years last August.

Ridership and revenues get a boost

Halifax Transit has undergone significant changes to speed up routes and promote usage. (Elizabeth Chiu/CBC)

It appears more people are opting to use public transportation to get around Halifax Regional Municipality after the city revamped more than a dozen routes in 2018.

Halifax Transit faced mixed reviews last August when it implemented the biggest change to the system in 30 years.

The changes were made to speed up travel between transit hubs.

Halifax Transit says usage between July and September was four per cent higher than the same quarter the year before. Overall revenues for regular transit, access-a-bus and the ferries was up 2.5 per cent.

"This is like Christmas," said Coun. Shawn Cleary as he was briefed on the numbers at a transportation committee meeting.

The revenues are actually about one per cent less than projected, but Cleary said that shouldn't diminish the strong results.

"That was just the plan, but it is still up an enormous amount. So, congratulations," he told Halifax Transit staff.

While there's improvement, the next quarter will actually give a better indication of the usage of the new routes because they will have been in operation for the entire three-month period.

Cleary said changes to Spryfield routes made in November, 2017 have proven to be effective.

The No. 9 bus, which travels Herring Cove Road, has the second highest usage in the city next the No. 1 Spring Garden route.

An average of 93,680 used the Halifax Transit system on weekdays during that quarter.