Municipal staff are asking Halifax regional council to approve a long-term plan to upgrade and expand the municipality’s ferry transit services.

An IBI Group report to be delivered to council tomorrow night outlines proposed short-term and long-term plans for Metro Transit’s ferry service.

Over the next four years, the report suggest the jetties at the Halifax and Dartmouth terminals need repairing, and the terminals themselves require a $6-million to $8-million refurbishing. The report also suggests council begin the process of replacing the ferries — two of which were built between 1976 and 1978, the third in 1986.

New vessels will also be needed to accommodate increased ridership — which the report estimates increasing to 1.75 million people in 2014 from 1.4 million people in 2010.

In the long term, the municipality should look at building new, “architecturally significant” terminals on the Halifax and Dartmouth sides of the harbour, in order to both improve service and to become a “catalyst for the harbourfront redevelopment.”