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Curious commuters show up for MetroX debut

<p>Upper Tantallon resident Nick Reynolds says he doesn’t mind dolingout $100 every month for a faster daily bus ride from his suburbancommunity to downtown Halifax.<br /></p>

Upper Tantallon resident Nick Reynolds says he doesn’t mind doling out $100 every month for a faster daily bus ride from his suburban community to downtown Halifax.

In fact, not only will he save time by hopping on the MetroX every morning at the Hubley Centre, but he’s also “saving on gas and parking” by using the express public transit service, the 28-year-old office worker pointed out yesterday morning.

“I think it’s worth it,” he said, shortly before trying out one of three new modern buses now on the road. His comments came shortly after federal Cabinet minister Peter MacKay announced a more than $3.1-million contribution from Ottawa toward the total $5.8-million cost of kicking off the first phase of the municipality’s ongoing public transit project.

“I’ll be using it pretty much every day,” Reynolds said. “So it’s really convenient for me.”

MacKay joined provincial Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse and Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Peter Kelly for the early morning launch of MetroX at the Upper Tantallon park-and-ride lot off of Highway 103, where curious commuters waited to board one of the air-conditioned, comfortable-looking buses for the first time, and at least one city staffer secured a bicycle to the vehicle’s front rack.

The province chipped in $96,000, while HRM is picking up the remaining $2.5-million in order to get the first MetroX route up and running. The service from Upper Tantallon is one of many planned-for park-and-ride lots along 100-series highways within the municipality. Metro Transit also said each MetroX bus can accommodate one wheelchair.

“Infrastructure investments like this help create jobs, support jobs and keep our economy rolling,” MacKay said. “The bus is revved up and ready to go.”

Monthly MetroX passes for adults cost $100 each, while one-way fares are $3.25, or $2.50 for children and seniors.

 
 
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