The worst bus in Halifax

Route 1 on Spring Garden Road is late over half the time during rush hour.

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Number one in the streets, and number one in the data sheets (for being awful). - VIA SEAN GILLIS, AT HALIFAXBLOGGERS
  • VIA SEAN GILLIS, AT HALIFAXBLOGGERS
  • Number one in the streets, and number one in the data sheets (for being awful).


Halifax Transit’s buses continue to arrive on-schedule far below industry standards, with the flagship Route 1 being late over half the time during rush hour.

A performance report headed to HRM council next week says the overall percentage of Halifax Transit's fleet that arrived on time in the second quarter of 2017/18 was a humbling 73 percent. That’s down from 77 percent in the previous period.

The worst bus in Halifax for anyone looking to be on time used to be Route 20. The Herring Cove bus was late 45 percent of the time last quarter. Those numbers were even worse during peak hours when the 20 was late 51 percent of the time.

But the Herring Cove was replaced at the end of November; combined with Route 19 into the new Route 9 that connects Spryfield to the downtown. On-time performance numbers for that new route won’t be available for another three months.

Meanwhile, Halifax Transit’s flagship Route 1 fared even worse in getting people where they need to be during rush hour. It’s late 53 percent of the time during peak service hours, and 40 percent of the time the rest of the day.

The transit authority defines “on time” as between one-minute early and three-minutes late. Industry standards for hitting that benchmark range between 85 and 90 percent. Only 11 out of 64 Halifax routes operating during peak hours were able to meet that target.

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“With construction season in full swing, on-time performance was significantly impacted in the second quarter,” write transit staff about extended closures on St. Margarets Bay Road over the summer that detoured multiple routes and pushed a higher volume of cars onto the Bayers Road corridor.

The best bus for meeting its schedule was once again Route 56, which arrives when it’s supposed to 95 percent of the time. Unlike most routes, the Dartmouth Crossing bus actually improves in reliability during rush hour.

The Mount Edward Express bus, while technically on time for 99 percent of its stops, only runs 12 times a day during peak hours along a much shorter route.

Other buses that manage to be late less than 10 percent of the time include the 57 (Russell Lake), 58 (Woodlawn), 83 (Springfield) and 88 (Bedford Commons).

This is the second ranking of quarterly on-time performance for individual routes released by Halifax Transit. Comparisons to previous years won't be possible until next quarter.

Overall, ridership increased 1.7 percent last quarter compared to the same period in 2016, while revenue dropped by 0.04 percent.

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