All aboard? 'Community road train' pitched for downtown Halifax
Consisting of an “engine” and three 20-passenger train carriages, the vehicle would run a circular loop stopping at businesses along the Halifax waterfront.
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Commuter rail isn’t yet a reality in Halifax, but a small “community road train” could be coming downtown this summer.
Consisting of an “engine” and three 20-passenger train carriages, the six-foot-wide vehicle would run a circular loop stopping at businesses along Hollis and Lower Water streets and the waterfront from June to October of this year.
Coun. Waye Mason said during Tuesday’s meeting of Halifax regional council that the idea isn’t new, but it’s an improvement on a service the municipality used to provide – the old FRED (Free Rides Everywhere Downtown) bus.
“I think that this actually is frankly better than the FRED trolley on a lot of levels: it’s being run by the private operator, it’s primarily connected to the tourist sites, and it’s really focused on that kind of downtown corridor,” Mason said.
Ambassatours CEO Dennis Campbell pitched the idea to the municipality, asking for $120,000 over the next three years to help fund the train. A staff report says “the service will be funded by many local businesses combined with ‘pay as you can’ donations from the ridership,” and any profits would go back into improving the service.
Council voted Tuesday in favour of a staff report on the proposal.