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Indeed they did:

http://haligonia.ca/halifax-ns-news/columns/halifax-shipping-news/12331-new-ferry-craig-blake-arrives.html

Also, in that picture it looks like the same terribly uncomfortable bench seats on the upper deck...

Been meaning to address this for a while, but the benches on the Craig Blake are actually much better than on the Stannix - the bench backs are pretty much vertical, so they don't force you to slouch while you're sitting on them. Speaking of the ferry service, the safety videos have just been updated in the last day or two. The footage seems to have been filmed while the Craig Blake was still tied up next to Alderney Landing (where Halifax III is now).

Also noticed Monday that bus 521 (one of the MetroX cutaways) no longer has the MetroX livery on it. Instead it now has a scheme more like the conventional HT livery - plain white with the blue and yellow 'X' toward the back of the unit.

Bus 1141 suffered what appears to have been an engine fire in the toll plaza of the Macdonald Bridge yesterday (Oct. 21st). From pictures posted on Haligonia's Facebook page, it's hard to say when, or even if, it'll be back on the road.

10/30/15 EDIT: Not sure if this is the wave of the future or just a test, but one of the XD40s (didn't think to catch the number - it was running on Route 2 this afternoon) has had its "Stop Requested" sign changed to a scrolling Luminator-esque sign.

Edited by Bud8Amp88
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10/30/15 EDIT: Not sure if this is the wave of the future or just a test, but one of the XD40s (didn't think to catch the number - it was running on Route 2 this afternoon) has had its "Stop Requested" sign changed to a scrolling Luminator-esque sign.

It's part of the new AVL+ project that is in the process of testing with a mini fleet of buses. It should probably be up and running sometime next year. Pretty much it'll replace GoTime as it is with new access terminals, Interactive Voice Response, visual stop annunciation, and digital signage at all terminals (starting with Lacewood and Highfield I believe) that will show live arrival/departure times. Later on there will be audio stop annunciation on the buses at least.

Does anyone have photos of M/V Craig Blake in service yet? Does anyone know if the rest of fleet will get repainted into current livery of Halifax Transit?

I took a photo a while back when it was still docked at the Alderney ferry terminal. As for the repainting (Actually 3M decals now), I'm not sure. Probably next year at the earliest.
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Service Adjustments Effective Monday, November 30th, 2015:

Route 18:

Final weeknight trip from Lacewood to MSVU to run 6 minutes later.

Route 20:

Revisions to certain bus stop Go-Time phone numbers.

Route 22:

All weekday AM/PM peak trips to service Ragged Lake Transit Centre in both directions.

Route 52:

Weekdays: (to Bayers Lake) First 5 AM trips from Highfield Terminal + final PM trip from Burnside Transit Centre adjusted to start across street from 200 Ilsley Ave (bus stop # 6973).

Saturdays: (to Bayers Lake) First 2 AM trips from Highfield Terminal adjusted to start across street from 200 Ilsley Ave (bus stop # 6973).

Sundays: (to Bayers Lake) All trips adjusted to start across street from 200 Ilsley Ave. (bus stop #6973).

(The following revisions may have already been in place for a while, just not updated in the Rider's Guide - I don't use Go-Time often, so I can't comment)

Revisions to Bus Stop Numbers at Portland Hills Terminal:

56 Dartmouth Crossing - old number 8048; new number 8953

57 Woodside, 72 Dartmouth Crossing - old number 8049; new number 8953

59 Colby/Portland Hills, 61 Auburn/North Preston, 68 Cherry Brook - old number 8048; new number 8951

59 Bridge Terminal/Halifax, 61 Halifax, 68 Bridge Terminal/Halifax - old number 8049; new number 8955

65 Astral - old number 8048, new number 8952

79 Cole Harbour Express - old number 8049; new number 8956

79 Woodside Ferry Express - old number 8049; new number 8957

159 Downtown Halifax Link - old number 8049; new number 8949

401 Porter's Lake - stop numbers not listed in Rider's Guide

Revisions to Bus Stop Numbers at Woodside Ferry Terminal:

57 Portland Hills - old number 8606; new number 8964

60 Eastern Passage/Heritage Hills - old number 8605; new number 8962

60 Bridge Terminal - old number 8606; new number 8963

78 Mount Edward Express - old number 8605; new number 8965

79 Cole Harbour Express - old number 8605; new number 8966

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For those who haven't yet voted, the finalists for the new ferry have been named:

Vincent Coleman

Private John Curwin

Viola Desmond

Major Gavin Rainnie

Ron Wallace

You've got until the 15th to get your votes in: https://fluidsurveys.com/s/FerryNaming2016/

EDIT 2/5/16: I can confirm that bus 740 is the first Artic in the new livery. Spotted it pulling into Scotia Square yesterday afternoon.

Edited by Bud8Amp88
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Saw this around 12noon today in Burnside. Looks like the Access-A-Bus reversed in the parking lot at 53 Wright Avenue, barrelled down the slope towards the neighbouring building but was stopped by the boulders at the bottom of the hill. The rocks tore up the skirt panels pretty good. One HRP cruiser, two Transit supervisor vehicles and one of Ruggle's large wreckers were all on aite when I went by. I wasn't able to see a fleet number and sorry for the blurry pic.

JC

Access-a-bus parking  Mar 17 2016.jpg

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The updated Moving Forward Together Plan has been released, along with this year's service plan:

http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/SCtransp/documents/160324tsc1213.pdf

Of note, what were referred to as Link Routes in the original draft have been re-named Express Routes, so any confusion should be removed.

Changes to the System Redesign: (Route numbers are those of the original draft plan)

Route 1: Will still travel the current routing from Mumford Terminal to Oxford Street via East Perimeter and Bayers Road. Until Transit Priority Measures are implemented on the Bayers Road corridor, PM peak trips will travel to Oxford via East Perimeter, Connaught, and Roslyn Street to avoid traffic congestion. Route description also indicates that the proposed two-way service on Gottingen Street has also been removed.

Route 4: Routing changed to improve connections between Clayton Park/Fairview and the universities/downtown. Now travels from Lacewood Terminal to LeMarchant Street via Lacewood, Main, Windsor, Cunard, Robie, Spring Garden, South Park, and South.

Route 5: Peak extension between Scotia Square and Bell Road to be numbered 5X.

Route 7: Two-way service added to Kencrest Avenue and Glebe Street to improve accessibility. Current service on St. Paul Street and Vestry Street to be removed. Loops to be numbered 7A (Gottingen to Robie) and 7B (Robie to Gottingen).

Route 8: Has been returned to Route 80's current routing between Scotia Square and Bedford Highway. A new Local Route - to be numbered 93 - will be added to provide AM/PM rush service from Bridge, Nottingham, and Union Streets to Scotia Square via the Bedford Highway, Lady Hammond Road/Duffus Street, Devonshire Avenue, and Barrington Street.

Route 9: Routing restored to that of the existing route 20.

Route 10: Branch to Montebello demoted to Local Route 54 (see below). Branches now 10A (Mic Mac Terminal), 10B (Westphal), and 10C (Bridge Terminal Only).

Route 15: Service between York Redoubt and Williams Lake Road to be retained. Route to be re-designated as a Rural Route - to be numbered 415 - and will provide peak service only.

Route 28: Removed (now redundant with re-route of Route 8).

Route 34: Loops to be numbered 34A (Dunbrack to Thomas Raddall) and 34B (Thomas Raddall to Dunbrack).

Route 37: Re-numbered to Route 32. Service restored between Highfield and Bridge Terminals.

Route 39: Re-numbered to Route 90. Service restored to that of existing Route 90. Will service new West Bedford Park & Ride lot to be opened approximately 2020.

Route 51: Peak extension between Princess Margaret Blvd. to Wrights Cove Terminal to be numbered 51X.

Route 53: Route extended to service Alderney Landing via King, Queen, and Alderney to the Bridge Terminal (services one of the Southbound bays).

Route 54: Route re-added to the system. Will travel between Bridge Terminal and Alderney Landing before following its existing routing.

Route 56: Proposed route extended to service Wrights Cove Terminal.

Routes 61 and 68: Numbers switched. Route 61 to service Cherry Brook. Route 68 to service North Preston [Possible that this was a big typo, but the Express Routes match, so not sure why they did this...]

Route 67: Proposed route extended from Tacoma Centre to Mic Mac Terminal.

Route 81: Re-numbered to Route 91. Proposed route truncated to start/finish at West Bedford Park & Ride.

Route 84: Peak extension between Scotia Square and Bell Road to be numbered 84X.

Route 121: Timberlea Link re-numbered to Route 123.

(NEW) Route 137: Regency Park Express - Lacewood Terminal to University Ave. via Lacewood, Regency Park, Washmill Lake, Northwest Arm, Main, Lady Hammond, Kempt, Young, Gottingen, Cogswell, Hollis, Morris, and University. PM trips to travel to Cogswell via Lower/Upper Water, Duke, and Barrington. Travels from Fairview Overpass to Main via Joe Howe, Dutch Village, and Alma.

(NEW) Route 138: Parkland Express - Dunbrack at Wentworth to University Ave. via Parkland and Lacewood.

Route 154: Removed (Express to/from Montebello unneeded)

Route 161A/168: Numbers switched. Route 161A to service Cherry Brook. Route 168 to service North Preston.

Route 190: Re-numbered to Route 194 - West Bedford Express. To start/end at West Bedford Park & Ride.

Route 191: Re-numbered to Route 192.

(NEW) Route 196: Starboard Express - Starboard Drive to Summer Street via Highway 102, Fairview, and downtown.

Route 259: Re-numbered to Route 179.

Route 263: Re-numbered to Route 178.

(NEW) Route 310: Middle Sackville Regional Express - To use new Margeson Park & Ride in Middle Sackville, to Albemarle St. via Hwy. 101, Bedford Bypass, and Mackay Bridge.

Route 726: Adjusted to begin/end at North Park Roundabout. Route to run as a one-way loop via originally proposed routing.

Now, on to this year's service plan...

The big thing for this year will be the retirement of ALL remaining non-accessible buses - the Classics, old LFSes, D30LFs, as well as some of the oldest MetroX buses. All told, this will involve 35 new vehicles. By the end of this year, we will be 100% accessible. Despite The Big Lift causing traffic chaos, overall ridership only dropped by about 0.5%. Ferry ridership has been reported to have gone up over 26%, due to the Big Lift project (including daily boardings on the Alderney route DOUBLING over last year).

Proposed Adjustments:

Route 20: To provide ALF service. Once retirements are complete, all remaining routes will also become ALF routes, though many stops will remain non-accessible.

Route 56: Service to Penhorn and Portland Hills Terminals to be removed. Route shifted to Bridge Terminal via Thistle and Critchton. Routing in Dartmouth Crossing adjusted to provide two-way service on Countryview Dr. 30 minute headways 6am to midnight Monday-Saturday. 30 minute headways from 7am to 6pm, then 60 minute to 11pm on Sundays (first route to be adjusted under the Moving Forward Together Plan).

Route 330: One additional AM and PM peak trip to be added to address overloading.

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First, I'm going to assume the 61/68 switch was a mistake. There's no real reason to swap route numbers of two existing routes, especially where it seems in this second draft plan they're making more of an attempt to retain existing route numbers.

Just a few comments.. so glad to see the 100-series routes called express routes now. The only comment I sent in on the first draft was that the term "link" today has become synonymous with a premium service with a premium price. I could see that causing a lot of confusion.

I found it interesting that the points that seemed to garner the most complaints (including a couple of petitions) boiled down to... a route I take is changing, I don't like it. Three of the top complaints was about changes to routes 1, 8 (80) and 9 (20), and the new plan essentially puts them back on their current routing.

It does however highlight that the original plan really seemed to put too much focus on the downtown Barrington Street area, and didn't seem to realize that the hospitals, universities and Spring Garden are also major trip generators. I wonder how much research was really done on current travel patterns. I may not take it very often, but even I knew there was a lot of transferring to and from the 80 at Bayers Road. It makes sense that the 100-series express routes would focus on the downtown office area, and take the most direct routes.

The only real disappointing thing I see is that they're not going to be doing two-way service on Gottingen on anything coming over the bridge.

Somewhat related, I noticed the next stop signs have been replaced with LED matrix signs to make way for stop announcements. This may have happened a while ago, I haven't really taken transit in a while. Also some sort of...thing.. has been installed at all of the rear doors. Not sure if it's a motion sensor or light or something. Anyone have any info on that? There's two of them mounted on the inside, on either side of the door.

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Somewhat related, I noticed the next stop signs have been replaced with LED matrix signs to make way for stop announcements. This may have happened a while ago, I haven't really taken transit in a while. Also some sort of...thing.. has been installed at all of the rear doors. Not sure if it's a motion sensor or light or something. Anyone have any info on that? There's two of them mounted on the inside, on either side of the door.

Yup, they had the mini-fleet testing back in the fall, and in the past couple of months they've been installing the interior digital signs, MDTs, APCs (which is what is installed at the front and rear doors of the buses either on the sides or mounted right above the door on some buses — they have yellow and black stripe markings around them) as well as what I assume is the outside speaker for exterior automated stop annunciation. According to one of the bus drivers they've been making quick progress with approximately 3 installs a day at Burnside.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well council debated the updated proposal today. I wasn't there nor did I watch any video of it, all I'm going by is the live tweeting in this CBC article:

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/halifax-transit-new-plan-proposed-debate-1.3531617

It's been approved in principal, with 23 possible amendments going back for report. 

So what is the point in HRM asking Metro Transit to design a better and more efficient transit system, if council then sits there and asks that half of the proposed changes be rolled back to the status quo. All I'm seeing are councillors requesting to essentially have routes they've already asked to be streamlined, adjusted so they service everyone's front door.

A few of the (sad) highlights:

  • Councillor Adams seems adamant service should be maintained on Purcell's Cove Road (I thought the second draft addressed this??) and Sambro. 
  • Councillor Hendsbee wants the 370 to service Mic Mac Mall as well. Maybe someone should explain what a transfer is to him. 
  • Councillor Mancini seems to want a terminal built somewhere in the Main Street-Tacoma Drive area???
  • Councillor Johns keeps bringing up Lucasville
  • And Councillor Mosher seems to just want nothing to change at all... she wants the current routes 5, 6 and 31 to remain exactly as is. 
 
The only nice thing to see is Councillors McCluskey and Mason both reiterated that service hours needs to be extended, either later at night or 24 hours for some routes. 
 
And there's a couple that I just don't even get:
 
 
@pambermancbc

Whitman: wants to extend hammonds plains Rd bus to Tantallon and vice versus

 
 
@pambermancbc

Whitman: consider crosstown rtes on the grid. Approved

 
 
 
 

The only two who seem to have any sense:

@pambermancbc

Outhit: wants bus service from home in Bedford to cottage in Malagash, (sorry out of HRM borders)

 

@pambermancbc

Walker: disappointed not giving the plan presented a chance - too many amendments - not going anywhere.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/23/2016 at 3:41 PM, hfx_chris said:

Somewhat related, I noticed the next stop signs have been replaced with LED matrix signs to make way for stop announcements. This may have happened a while ago, I haven't really taken transit in a while. Also some sort of...thing.. has been installed at all of the rear doors. Not sure if it's a motion sensor or light or something. Anyone have any info on that? There's two of them mounted on the inside, on either side of the door.

The LED signs will be on buses with the new AVL already installed. The parts installed at the doors are passenger counters. 

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Nova Bus has been awarded the contract for 60 buses over a 3 year period with options for 40 more for the following 2 years after that. 

The first year order will be for 30 40' buses  and will replace the 11 remaining Nova Classics, all the remaining 1999-2000 Nova LFS, 5 of 10 MetroX cutaways, and a replacement for 1141 which had a fire. 

Nova's price for the initial 60 buses (years 1-3 of the contract) was around $2.3 million lower than New Flyer.

http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/160510ca1414.pdf

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So, I understand why the Halifax III and Dartmouth III weren't repainted in the new livery, as their days are somewhat numbered (although that hasn't stopped them in the past *cough* 512) but does anyone know why the Woodside I is still just plain white? It's been like that for probably close to a year, and as far as I was aware it's still got a few years left. 

 

I was just watching it come across the harbour, and it looks really.. plain. 

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On 2016-07-04 at 3:14 PM, hfx_chris said:

So, I understand why the Halifax III and Dartmouth III weren't repainted in the new livery, as their days are somewhat numbered (although that hasn't stopped them in the past *cough* 512) but does anyone know why the Woodside I is still just plain white? It's been like that for probably close to a year, and as far as I was aware it's still got a few years left. 

 

I was just watching it come across the harbour, and it looks really.. plain. 

Not only is Dartmouth III's days numbered, they may be over for good once Viola Desmond goes in service (Monday?), as they didn't bother doing any touch up work on it all winter - it's the saddest sight of the three old ones. They might keep Halifax III for a bit just to have a spare boat on hand for when the others need maintenance, if I had to guess. As for Woodside I, they'll probably wait until the next time they pull it for servicing to repaint it, if at all.

 

On 2016-07-08 at 3:00 AM, brzyski said:

2 weeks ago I saw (at least) 3 of them on the 41. Don't know if they are still active now.

967: https://flic.kr/p/JN2dAP

968: https://flic.kr/p/J9PaqW

970: https://flic.kr/p/HYxcLy

 

 

 

They were as of yesterday. They're pretty much only seen on the 41/42 shift these days - even seeing one on an Urban Express route in Halifax has become a rarity. Other than the three mentioned, I have seen 978, 983, and 985 on the 41/42 as well.

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  • 1 month later...

Route and Schedule Adjustments - As of August 22nd, 2016:

Mackay Shuttle - Service to run during weekend bridge closures. First trips depart Bridge/Scotia Square at 5:30am, then every 15 minutes to 1:15am.

Macdonald Shuttle - Service to run if bridge remains open on weekends (same times as above).

Route 20 - Now provides ALF service.

Route 330 - Additional AM Peak trip departing Tantallon Park and Ride at 7:40am, arriving at Albemarle St. at 8:21am. Additional PM Peak trip departing Albemarle St. at 4:37pm, arriving at Tantallon Park and Ride at 5:22pm.

 

The change to the shuttles irks me, if only because, when I work Saturdays, I usually would either take the detoured 52, or take anything else to Halifax, then get off at the bottom of North St. (which they were allowed to do). I'm not too happy about being forced to go all the way to Scotia Square, just to get to North St. Understandable since the bridge should be closed every weekend for the rest of the year, but I don't have to be happy about it.

Edited by Bud8Amp88
Added Route 330 trip additions
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  • 3 weeks later...

Pretty sure that Dartmouth III is retired. It's been docked at the Dartmouth Coast Guard base (between Alderney and Woodside Terminals) since Viola Desmond came into service. Halifax III is being kept as a spare unit for now, and they do rotate it in and out of service every few days.

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Halifax Transit received a good amount of money from the Federal Government's Public Transit Improvement Fund:


http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/160920ca1435.pdf

 

As as result, instead of receiving 30 new LFS buses later this year, we will be receiving 59.  That makes it the largest single order of buses in Halifax in almost 50 years.  This will allow for the retirement of all Classics, 1999-2000 LFS buses, the D30LFs, and the Glaval Titans.  Exciting times!

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