Hi Mr Rankin,
I am one of your constituents - I live on Brentwood Avenue in Timberlea and spoke with you briefly on the phone yesterday. Thanks for taking my call. Its not very often that I write my councellor, however I'm very upset with the fact that the municipality is contemplating a 3rd ferry.
Before the municipality applies 30 million dollars to a 3rd ferry - I think that money should go to improve the current transit system for ALL HRM and not just to serve mostly Bedford residents.
Its ridiculous that residents in the Timberlea, Tantallon and other areas (Herring Cove, Fall River, Eastern Passage, Musquodoboit Harbour, Porters Lake etc) get bus service maybe once every hour - and it takes more than 2 hours to go to a major center when its not peak times. Some individuals in the HRM who don't have access to a Metro transit bus - i.e - route 333 residents, Lawrencetown/Mineville Residents etc but yet Bedford needs a ferry? If you don't live on routes 1, 10 or 7, transit is not convenient. I do believe that more people would use the transit service in the outlying areas if it was more feasible - would you go out to the shopping center on a Saturday afternoon with your family if it took over 2 hours (e.g Timberlea - downtown) with 2 kids, or would you rather take a 20 minute comfortable air conditioned car.
As for the Bedford plan - I think there are issues - if the ride is 5$ a day - 10$ return - then thats 200$ a month (assuming working 20 days a month). Parking in downtown Halifax is 150$ a month on average - Why would someone take the Ferry ? Only the rich can afford 200$ a month - and guess what they probably love their cars and don't mind driving. How is this form of "Public Transit" affordable for the public? Rush hour from Bedford is about 30 minutes - the ferry is only saving approximately 10-15 minutes each way - I don't think that is worth 30 Million for the few who would use and can afford the trip. As well to take the Ferry people will drive their cars, to the ferry parking lot. Isn't the purpose of the public transit to take cars off the road?
My other concern is that the ferry will mostly only be used during peak times - What are the load factors of the other 2 ferries? Does that warrant a 3rd ferry? What will happen at 8 PM on a Tuesday night - will the ferry be used then - I hardly believe it will be.
I think the municipality would be better off using the money to IMPROVE our current transportation system and have people see that it can work. Instead of less service to outlying areas, lets have more service (not just peak times), better service so more people can use the system - MORE BUSES, MORE ROUTE FREQUENCY FOR ALL HRM NOT 30 Million for BEDFORD alone.
Thank you for your time.
A Concerned Citizen.
By James Bowden