|Area served||Halifax Regional Municipality, NS|
|Fleet size|| 313 buses|
|Number of routes||64|
|Annual ridership||23,700,000 (2011)|
| Annual budget
|Annual non-tax revenue||$32,619,558 (2011/12)|
This page is for the transit system in Halifax, Nova Scotia. For other transit systems named Metro Transit, see Metro Transit (disambiguation).
Metro Transit is the main public transportation system operator in the Halifax Regional Municipality Region (HRM) of Nova Scotia, and is the largest transit system in Atlantic Canada. Metro Transit operates fifty-seven conventional bus routes, three bus rapid transit routes, three community routes, one rural express route and two harbour ferry routes. The system has one of the highest ridership rates in Canada proportional to population for a medium-sized city, with over 10 percent of residents using it every day.
Metro Transit was created by the merging of two separate transit systems serving opposite sides of Halifax Harbour, the Halifax Transit Corporation (and Nova Scotia Light & Power Company before that) and Dartmouth Transit Service. The transit system was then run by both cities cooperatively by the Metropolitan Authority under the legal name Metropolitan Transit Commission. Although Metro Transit was formed sometime in early 1979, it did not takeover transit operations until early 1980, and continued to operate out of its predecessors garages in Halifax and Dartmouth until the new garage in Burnside was opened in March 1981.
The system was particular to GMDD's buses, and was one of the first agencies to order the Classic in 1983. Except for a brief order of Saab Scanias as a result of a provincial government attempt to create a bus building industry in Nova Scotia, Metro Transit continued to order the Classic until 1996, a year before Nova Bus discontinued the model.
In 1992, Metro Transit took delivery of seven buses that were an articulated version of the Classic, made by MCI. Seven more followed the next year. Midway through the second order, MCI's transit bus division was acquired by NovaBus, who immediately discontinued the model after completing the order for Halifax. As a result, Metro Transit is one of only two agencies who own articulated Classics.
From 1996 to 1999, Metro Transit faced several major budget cuts that left service at a very low level, with many customer complaints. In addition, no new buses were ordered during this period, which left the system unable to cope with demand. 1999 saw the delivery of 10 Nova LFS buses, the first low-floor buses in the fleet, with an additional 4 units in 2000. Routes 3 and 7 were made low-floor only routes, and route 54 was made low-floor only the next year. Ironically, the wheelchair ramps on most of the 10 1999 LFS's, which were of the telescopic variety, eventually stopped working. As a result, the 1999 units no longer carry the International Symbol of Accessibility, while technically the 4 ordered in 2000 still do.
After this, Metro Transit began to prefer New Flyer Industries's D40LF model, ordering 32 in 2002 and an additional 127 in the years afterward. Most of these buses were replacements for retired buses, however, and the system is currently trying to cope with rapidly increasing demand.
Since the beginning of the new millennium, funding for transit has more than doubled, and the system has been able to introduce new routes and services, such as a MetroLink, a bus rapid transit system started in 2005. Part of a pilot project from Transport Canada, the $20-million system was a success, and more MetroLink routes are in the planning stages.
In the past few years, a new transit centre has been opened, new bus terminals are under construction/in planning, and a MetroX route to Halifax Stanfield Airport will be introduced in May 2012.
Directors/General Managers since formation of HRM
- 1996-2005: Brian Taylor
- 2005-07: Paul McDaniel
- 2008-10: Patricia Soanes
- 2010-11: Eddie Robar, Lori Patterson, Erin Flaim (rotating position of Acting General Manager while a permanent one was chosen)
- 2011-present: Eddie Robar
Metro Transit's conventional system operates fifty-six bus routes in the metropolitan Halifax area, including peninsular and mainland Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and Lower Sackville. Conventional routes also service areas such as North Preston, Eastern Passage and Purcell's Cove.
Conventional routes are numbered from 1-99, as following:
- 01-29: Routes servicing Halifax
- 30-39: Rush-hour express routes servicing Halifax
- 40-49: University routes servicing Dalhousie University
- 50-79: Routes servicing Dartmouth
- 80-90: Routes servicing Bedford and Lower Sackville
In 2010, Metro Transit introduced the urban express route concept. These routes operate as a limited stop service once they arrive in the metro Halifax area, only stopping at major stops, reducing the time it takes to arrive in the downtown core. Express route bus stops are marked with a red bar and the word EXPRESS on them, along with the route number.
In 2013, Metro Transit created a 'high frequency' transit corridor along Portland Street and Alderney Drive in Dartmouth, between the Bridge Terminal and the Portland Hills Terminal. The Portland Corridor is made up of three routes: 59 Colby, 61 Auburn-North Preston and 68 Cherrybrook. Between the three of them, it provides 10-minute or better service along the corridor from the start to end of service (20 minute service on weekends). Of the three routes, only the 61 is wheelchair accessible. Also, the routes 59 and 61 are usually serviced by articulated buses.
MetroLink is Metro Transit's limit-stop express Bus Rapid Transit system. The system consists of three limited-stop fully accessible express routes, connecting downtown Halifax's Scotia Square bus terminal, with the Portland Hills terminal in Cole Harbour on the Dartmouth side, and the Sackville Terminal in Lower Sackville. A third route also connects the Portland Hills terminal with the Woodside ferry terminal. A fourth route servicing Cobequid Terminal (to be assigned route number 184) has been abandoned. Future plans are for routes to Clayton Park (Lacewood terminal) and Spryfield.
The MetroLink service operates its own fleet of buses, New Flyer Industries model D40LF, which are assigned fleet numbers in the 600-series. The buses feature a distinctive livery on the exterior to tell them from the conventional bus fleet, and inside feature plush high-back reclining chairs with arm and leg rests and a custom fabric design, as well as air conditioning and carpeting on the walls and ceiling to reduce noise. The buses are equipped with Opticom transmitters, which allow the buses to hold green lights or activate transit priority measures at traffic intersections.
MetroLink routes are numbered in the 100-series.
MetroX Rural Express
MetroX is the name of Metro Transit's rural express transit system, designed to provide service directly to downtown Halifax (Scotia Square/Albemarle Street) from various rural areas along the province's 100-series highways. The first route, servicing Tantallon along the highway 103, entered service in August 2009 and the second route, servicing Fall River and Halifax Stanfield International Airport, entered service in June 2012. Future plans are for a route along highway 107 servicing Porters Lake and Musquodoboit Harbour. The MetroX service operates a fleet of wheelchair accessible buses, which feature a distinctive livery and comfortable seating.
MetroX routes are numbered in the 300-series, with the second digit indicating the highway it services. For example, service on highway 103 is provided by the route 330; future service along the highway 107 would be provided by a route 370.
Community Transit is the name of Metro Transit's rural bus system, providing service to certain rural and suburban communities including Beaver Bank, Porters Lake, East Preston and Sambro. The Beaver Bank and Porters Lake routes are primarily serviced by New Flyer D30LFs, however are also occasionally serviced by D40LFs during busier months. The Sambro route is serviced by Glaval Bus Titans.
Starting 2012, Community Transit routes are given route numbers in the 400s, and now have designated bus stops along the routes.
Metro Transit also provides two passenger ferry routes, one connecting downtown Halifax (Lower Water Street terminal) with Alderney Landing in Dartmouth (which operates daily using 2 vessels) and the other connecting downtown Halifax with Woodside (Monday through Friday, rush hour only, using 1 vessel). The ferry services are integrated with the bus services; the fares are identical, and transfers are accepted between the two systems. The harbour ferries are utilised by over 3,000 commuters daily. Each ferry carries up to 398 passengers.
Metro Transit provides this accessible service, which is a dial-a-ride service for elderly and handicapped residents in the region. This service was created in 1981, the same year Metro Transit was formed. There are approximately 20 Access-A-Bus vehicles in service, all of the cutaway variety.
Fares are collected on buses via GFI Cents-a-Bill fareboxes, and by collectors inside the ferry terminals for the ferry system. All fares are exact change only.
Fares effective January 1, 2012
|Cash||10 Tickets||Monthly Pass|
|Name||Location||# Routes||# Passengers Per Day (2011)|
|Mumford||Halifax Shopping Centre||14||14,352|
|Bayers Road||Bayers Road Shopping Centre||7||Not recorded|
|Scotia Square||Barrington Street, downtown Halifax||35||23,506|
|Halifax Ferry Terminal||Downtown Halifax||N/A||N/A|
|Lower Water Street||Lower Water Street, downtown Halifax||7||706|
|Dalhousie||Dalhousie University||4||Not recorded|
|Bridge||Wyse Road, Dartmouth||19||23,228|
|Dartmouth Ferry Terminal||Alderney Drive, Dartmouth||8||8,549|
|Woodside Ferry Terminal||Atlantic Avenue, Woodside||3||1,169|
|Penhorn||Penhorn Mall, Dartmouth||10||6,286|
|Portland Hills||Cole Harbour||10||4,342|
|Mic Mac||Mic Mac Mall||6||5,532|
|Highfield||Highfield Park Drive, Dartmouth||8||4,300|
|Cobequid||Cobequid Drive, Lower Sackville||8||3,823|
|Downsview||Downsview Mall||8||Not recorded|
|Sackville||Hwy 101/Lower Sackville||9||2,268|
|Tacoma Centre||Transfer point, Dartmouth||4||2,672|
|Hubley Centre||Transfer point, Tantallon||2||274|
Park & Ride lots
Park & Ride lots are parking lots adjacent to or near bus terminals or major transfer points, usually providing free parking to transit users.
|Location||Notes||Parking Capacity||Daily Usage (2011)|
|Woodside Ferry Terminal||Free with MetroPass||300||300|
|Portland Hills Terminal||230||226|
|Dartmouth Ferry Terminal||MetroPass + $30/month||110||61|
|Maybank Field||Mic Mac Blvd||30||30|
|South Centre Mall||Spryfield||15||10|
|Exhibition Park||Ragged Lake||50||1|
|Highway 118 & Perrin Dr.||Fall River||90||New (May 2012)|
|Sheldrake Lake||48||New (August 2012)|
|Burnside Transit Centre||200 Ilsley Avenue, Burnside Industrial Park, Dartmouth||Classics, D30LFs, D40LFs, LFS Artics, MetroLink D40LFs and Access-A-Buses||Also contains maintenance, wash and fuel facilities, the paint shop, body shop, dispatch centre and administrative offices. Formerly called the Ilsley Transit Centre.|
|Ragged Lake Transit Centre||Prospect Road, Ragged Lake Business Park, Halifax||Classics, D40LFs, LFS Artics, 40-ft LFS', articulated Classics, DE60LFRs and MetroX buses||Opened in August 2010. Contains a comprehensive maintenance and administrative facility, as well as indoor storage for buses.|
|Thornhill Drive, Burnside Industrial Park, Dartmouth||Closed in August 2010. Operated for a few years to provide extra storage space for the crowded Ilsley garage. The opening of the new Ragged Lake garage negated the need for the Thornhill site.|
Fleet roster (1981-present)
For fleet rosters prior to 1981, see the articles Dartmouth Transit for the former City of Dartmouth's transit system, Halifax Transit Corporation for the former City of Halifax's transit system, and the Nova Scotia Light & Power Company for the electric trolleycoach and tramway system operated by the utility company in the former City of Halifax.
Fleet numbers are assigned as follows:
- 100s - Former Dartmouth Transit buses (all retired)
- 200s - Saab Scanias (all retired)
- 300s - Access-a-Bus
- 400s - Former Halifax Transit buses (all retired)
- 500s - Miscellaneous
- 600s - MetroLink
- 700s - Articulated buses
- 800s and up - 40ft conventional buses ordered by Halifax Transit and Metro Transit since 1969, when bus 801 started this numbering series.
|Fleet number(s)||Thumbnail||Year||Manufacturer||Model||Engine||Transmission||Destination sign||No. purchased/
||Various||Various||None||??||Used on Access-A-Bus paratransit service. Not all are Aerotech model. Exact years and fleet numbers not known.|
|505-507||1999||NFI||D30LF||Cummins ISC||Allison B300R||Luminator Super Matrix:MAX||3 / 3||These buses operate on the Community Transit service.|
|516-525||2009||GM/Glaval Bus||C5500/Titan||GM Duramax 6.6L||Allison 2200||Luminator Horizon||10 / 10||Primarily for MetroX service, but also used on the Sambro Community Transit route.|
|526-534||2012||Nova Bus||LFS||Cummins ISL9||ZF 6AP1400B||Axion Technologies Orange LED||9 / 9||For Fall River/Airport MetroX route.|
|600-619||2005||NFI||D40LF||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R||Luminator Horizon||20 / 20||Operate on the MetroLink service only. Have suburban-style seating, air conditioning, and bike racks.|
|715-716||2009||NFI||DE60LFR||Cummins ISL||Allison EP50 System
|Luminator Horizon||2 / 2||
|717-731||2010||Nova Bus||LFS Artic||Cummins ISL9||ZF 6AP1700B||Axion Technologies Orange LED||15 / 15||
|732-741||2010||Nova Bus||LFS Artic||Cummins ISL9||ZF 6AP1700B||Axion Technologies Orange LED||10 / 10||
|742-761||2012||Nova Bus||LFS Artic||Cummins ISL9||ZF 6AP1700B||Axion Technologies Orange LED||20 / 20||
|929-940||1988||MCI||TC40-102N "Classic"||Detroit Diesel 6V92TA||Luminator MAX||12 / 2|
|948-952||1990||MCI||TC40-102N "Classic"||Detroit Diesel 6V92TA||Luminator Super:MAX||5 / 5|
|953-966||1994||Nova Bus||TC40-102N "Classic"||Detroit Diesel 6V92TA||Luminator Super:MAX||14 / 12|
|967-974||1995||Nova Bus||TC40-102N "Classic"||Detroit Diesel Series 50||Allison B400R||Luminator Super Matrix:MAX||8 / 7|
|975-985||1996-97||Nova Bus||TC40-102N "Classic"||Detroit Diesel Series 50||Allison B400R||Luminator Super Matrix:MAX||11 / 9||975 & 976 were test buses running prototype propane-powered Detroit Diesel Series 50 engines. Converted to diesel in 1998.|
|986-996||1999||Nova Bus||LFS 40102||Cummins ISC||Allison B400R||Luminator Max 2000||11 / 10|
|997-1000||2000||Nova Bus||LFS 40102||Cummins ISC||Allison B400R||Luminator Max 3000||4 / 4|
|1001-1032||2002||NFI||D40LF||Cummins ISC||Allison B400R5||Luminator Horizon||32 / 31||Retrofitted with bike racks|
|1033-1060||2004||NFI||D40LF||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R5||Luminator Horizon||28 / 27||Retrofitted with bike racks|
|1061-1082||2005||NFI||D40LF||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R5||Luminator Horizon||22 / 22||Retrofitted with bike racks|
|1083-1107||2006||NFI||D40LF||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R6||Luminator Horizon||25 / 25||Air conditioned, have bike racks|
|1108-1130||2007||NFI||D40LF||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R6||Luminator Horizon||23 / 23||Air conditioned, have bike racks|
|1131-1153||2008||NFI||D40LF||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R6||Luminator Horizon||23 / 23||Air conditioned, have bike racks|
|1154-1159||2009||NFI||D40LF||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R6||Luminator Horizon||6 / 6||Air conditioned, have bike racks|
|1160-1161||2012||Nova Bus||LFS||Cummins ISL9||ZF 6AP1400B||Axion Technologies Orange LED||2 / 2||For replacement of older buses. Specs are assumed. Delivered October 2012.|
|Fleet number(s)||Thumbnail||Year||Manufacturer||Model||Engine||Transmission||Destination sign||No. purchased||Notes|
|1162-1183||2013||NFI||XD40||Cummins ISL9||?||?||22||First year of a three year order|
Delivery beginning in August
Buses purchased by Metro Transit from 1981 onwards, which are now entirely retired
|Fleet number(s)||Thumbnail||Year||Manufacturer||Model||Engine||Transmission||Destination sign||No. purchased||Notes|
|501-504||1981||Orion Bus Industries||Orion 01.501||Detroit Diesel 6V53N||Rollsign||4||
|857-869||1982||General Motors Diesel Division||T6H-5307N "New Look"||Detroit Diesel 6V71N||Allison V730||Rollsign||13||Retired between 2003-2004|
|201-212||1984||Saab-Scania||CN112A||Luminator MAX||12||Retired late 1990's|
|308||1985||OBI||Orion 01.501||Detroit Diesel 6V53N||Rollsign||1||
|510-515||1981-1982||GMDD||T6H-5307N "New Look"||Detroit Diesel 6V71N||Allison V730||Rollsign, Luminator MAX||6||Ex BC Transit was purchased in 2003.|
|870-881||1983||GMDD||TC40-102N "Classic"||Detroit Diesel 6V71N||Allison V730||Rollsign, Luminator MAX||12||
Originally had rollsigns, although some were converted to electronic destination signs.
|701-707||1992||MCI||TC60-102N Classic||Detroit Diesel 6V92TA||Allison VR731||Luminator Super:MAX||7||Retired 2013|
||TC60-102N Classic||Detroit Diesel 6V92TA||Allison VR731||Luminator Super:MAX||7|
|882-895||1985||GMDD||TC40-102N "Classic"||Detroit Diesel 6V92||Luminator MAX||14||Retired 2005-06?|
|896-910||1986||GMDD||TC40-102N "Classic"||Detroit Diesel 6V92||Luminator MAX||15||Retired 2011|
|911-920||1987||GMDD||TC40-102N "Classic"||Detroit Diesel 6V92||Luminator MAX||10||Retired 2008|
|921-928||1987||MCI||TC40-102N "Classic"||Detroit Diesel 6V92||Luminator MAX||8||Retired 2012|
|941-947||1989||MCI||TC40-102N "Classic"||Detroit Diesel 6V92TA||Luminator MAX||7||946 was used for filming a scene for Trailer Park Boys Season 4 Episode 1 in 2003|
- Dartmouth II - Built in 1956 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, retired in 1979.
- Halifax II - Built in 1956 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, retired in 1979.
- Scotian - Built in 1946 in Pictou, Nova Scotia, retired in 1955.
- Governor Cornwallis - Built in 1941 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, retired in 1944 (destroyed by fire).
- Dartmouth - Built in 1934 in Lauzon, Quebec, retired in 1957.
- Halifax - Built in 1911, retired in 1956.
- Chebucto - Built in 1906, retired in 1951.
- Annex 2 - Built in 1878 in New Baltimore, New York, retired in 1909 (destroyed by fire).
- Arcadia - Built in 1884 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, retired in 1891.
- Dartmouth - Built in 1888 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, retired in 1935.
- Chebucto - Built in 1878 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, retired in 1892.
- Mic Mac - Built in 1878 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, retired in 1901.
- Boxer - Built in 1838 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, retired in 1864.
- Sir C. Ogle - Built in 1830 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, retired in 1894.
- Sherbrooke - Built in 1816 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, retired in 1830.
|June 2003||OBI||07.501||Loaned from either Orion or New York MTA, returned to them.|
|July 2007||Nova Bus||LFS40102||Loaned from Nova Bus, returned to them.|
|June 2008||NFI||DE60LFR||Loaned from NFI, went to Saint John Transit for demoing afterwards.|
- Metro Transit Official Website - First ever official transit website in North America, established in 1994
- Metro Transit's Twitter Feed
- Fan discussion group
|Garages||Burnside - Ragged Lake - |
|Bus Terminals||Alderney - Bayers Road - Bridge - Cobequid - Dalhousie - Downsview - Highfield - Lacewood - Lower Water Street - Mic Mac - Mumford - Penhorn - Portland Hills - Sackville - Scotia Square - Woodside|
|Ferry Terminals||Dartmouth - Halifax - Woodside|
|Classic||MCI 929-940, 941-947, 948-952; Nova 953-966, 967-974, 975-985|
|LFS||40ft 986-996, 997-1000, 526-534, 1160-1161; 60ft 717-731, 732-741, 742-761|
|New Flyer||D30LF 505-507; D40LF 1001-1032, 1033-1060, 600-619, 1061-1082, 1083-1107, 1108-1130, 1131-1153, 1154-1159; DE60LFR 715-716|