The wheels on a new express bus service travelling back and forth from Upper Tantallon to downtown Halifax start turning today.

 

Commuters can catch the MetroX from a free park-and-ride lot at the Hubley Centre five times between 5:58 a.m. and 8:03 a.m., with one-way direct service to Abermarle Street in the heart of the city.

 

The express service, described by Metro Transit as having “the weekday commuter in mind,” leaves Scotia Square five times between 4:15 p.m. and 6:50 p.m. to take downtown workers home during the rush hour peak.

 

There are also three midday return trips offered on MetroX, which leave the Hubley Centre at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:25 p.m.

Metro Transit claims the fares “reflect the premium service,” charging adults $3.25 and seniors and children $2.50. Monthly adult passes cost $100 each.

The bus from Upper Tantallon is the first of many planned for park-and-ride lots along 100-series highways within HRM. Metro Transit spokeswoman Lori Patterson said yesterday other suburban areas will see the service soon, including Enfield and Musquodoboit Harbour.

Patterson called MetroX different than normal public transportation, with “smaller buses designed to run on the highways,” adding the vehicles are more comfortable and air-conditioned.

Metro Transit is also promoting its new service as “a great way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” as every MetroX station will feature bike lanes, lockers and racks.

Municipal, provincial and federal politicians are helping kick off MetroX this morning with “an important infrastructure announcement for Metro Transit,” a news release said.

Patterson confirmed there’s “federal funding involved,” but she couldn’t say how much Ottawa is coughing up for the project, which has been about two years in the making. She did say that the first phase of MetroX has a total price tag of about $5-million.