News / Halifax

A-boat time? Councillor wants more rides for ferry between Halifax and Dartmouth

Sam Austin says hours were extended for the Big Lift project, and he wants to keep a good thing going.

A ferry on the harbour between Halifax and Dartmouth.

Metro file photo

A ferry on the harbour between Halifax and Dartmouth.

The Big Lift project gave a big boost to ridership on the Alderney ferry, increasing numbers by about 50 per cent.

Now as the Macdonald Bridge revamp project comes to an end, a HRM councillor doesn’t want to see the brakes put on the growing ferry trend.

Dartmouth councillor Sam Austin is putting forth a motion to council Tuesday asking to keep the ferry’s extended hours in place as they have been during the two-year bridge work.

In fact, Austin would like to see the ferry run even more frequently throughout the day.

“What we did with the Big Lift was they added on evening hours and extended Sunday hours for the ferry to mitigate that impact,” Austin said on Sunday.

Prior to the Big Lift, the ferry ran on a schedule alternating between 15 and 30-minute routes depending on the time of day – between 6:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.

Currently, Halifax Transit's Alderney ferry runs every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. with a break from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. where it runs every half hour.

Austin wants to see the ferry run on a more reliable schedule leaving every 15 minutes throughout the day until 8:30 p.m.

“A long standing ask for many people has been 15 minutes all day long, so you always just know there is a boat coming and there is good demand during the day,” he said.

He would also like to see this schedule remain extended to Sunday, instead of reverting back to the regular schedule of noon to 6 p.m.

Austin said the Sunday service has been incredibly popular.

“Especially in summer there’s a lot of activity, Sunday is kind of a family day and the ferry makes for a great outing,” he said.

“I think it would be a great thing overall for Dartmouth.”

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