A new bus route along the Halifax waterfront may be up and running by next summer.
A proposal for the new route — to be the No. 8 —will be brought before Halifax Regional Council early in the new year, said Metro Transit spokesperson Lori Patterson.
The proposed service would run every 30 minutes along Lower Water Street, making stops at Scotia Square, NSCAD’s waterfront campus and Pier 21.
“With the development that’s now taking place along the waterfront, we’ve seen that we need to do something there,” Patterson explained.
That development includes new offices for Nova Scotia Power, slated to open in 2011, as well as the ever-expanding tourist mecca surrounding Pier 21.
Plans for a free downtown shuttle that would run much more frequently and serve a broader area had been in the works for some time, but was noticeably absent from the five-year transit plan presented to council in October.
Paul MacKinnon, executive director of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, said the proposed route is “a step in the right direction,” but the free shuttle should remain a priority.
“Where we differ from (Metro Transit) is that they feel the changes to the number one route and this new No. 8 bus will accomplish all the things a downtown shuttle could … but we don’t see it that way,” MacKinnon said. “We haven’t given up yet.”