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Small Craft Harbour Service Might Be Answer to Traffic Woes

News Release

Small Craft Harbour Service Might be Answer to Traffic Woes

(Wednesday, August 30/2000)-- The provincial government should consider constructing a ferry terminal on the Bedford Waterfront Development lands to accommodate a small-craft, high-speed commuter service to the downtown area, Mayor Walter Fitzgerald said today.

Mayor Fitzgerald said the project could draw passengers from the Bedford-Sackville area, as well from Rockingham. This could considerably reduce the number of passenger vehicles travelling into the downtown core each day.

The Mayor said Metro Transit has experienced a tremendous increase in passenger traffic on its ferry service during the past five years and the Province and the municipality should build on that success.

"The numbers are growing and the answer to our traffic problem is all around us-the harbour, Bedford Basin and the North West Arm," he said.

The Mayor said "Some have suggested that we look at a light rail commuter service into downtown Halifax, but the up-front capital costs alone could be up to $20 million or more. Also, the annual operating costs would be considerable. Besides, trains can only go where the tracks go..that's not the case with harbour craft."

Mayor Fitzgerald said he believed the Halifax Harbour-Bedford Basin travel route could be an attractive solution to the increasing traffic congestion/parking problems in the downtown business district.

"We have the ferries carrying passengers now from Dartmouth and Woodside, why not take in the Bedford, Sackville, Rockingham areas and other communities?" he said.

The Mayor says he plans to meet with provincial government officials soon to get an update on plans for the Bedford waterfront development project.

The Province absorbed the formerly independent Bedford Water Development Commission into the larger downtown Waterfront Development Corporation earlier this year.

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Mayor Walter Fitzgerald