WHAT: It’s More Than Buses – Public Forum on Public Transit
WHEN: Tuesday, June 28th (July 19 & Sept. 7), 6pm-8pm
WHERE: World Trade and Convention Centre
HOW MUCH: Free
HALIFAX – Waiting for the bus each morning to start my short daily morning commute to work in Downtown Halifax, I observe the regular bottle-necking on Robie Street, whereby cars are narrowly packed together carrying generally one driver each. In much larger cities, transit is used more often by commuters and helps to create a more active, efficient and accessible transit system and urban culture.
If you have ever used Metro Transit in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), then you have likely thought of ways that the infrastructure could be improved. As a daily bus commuter, I really enjoy the transit system – but it has only come with time of understanding the way it works in Halifax, particularly, by having a cell phone to check the exact time in which I can expect the bus to arrive. I have also been privy to peoples opinions about the HRM transit system – referencing specifically (in)frequency of buses and (in)consistent schedules.
Time aside, on my morning commutes, I’m known by the bus driver and some of its passengers, which gives me a greater sense of community and belonging in the city. I’ve also quite enjoyed watching people and experiencing the city networks through another lens. I’ve also been lucky enough to establish friendships by taking the bus and have experienced the generosity of its passengers, through different acts of kindness. I have seen both jam packed and empty buses; buses accommodating 40 day-care kids, many seniors, high school and university students and nine to fivers,throughout the week and on the weekend, a mish-mash of just about anyone. Through these daily commutes, I can see what I see in and love about being an urbanite.
So, being a public transit nerd, I’m quite excited to let you know that starting tomorrow evening there will be 3 Public Forum sessions on HRM’s Public Transit System. The forums are part of a partnership between the Planning and Design Centre (PDC) and Fusion Halifax to build a grassroots movement to create a better public transportation network in HRM.
In an effort to take an objective look at how to improve public transportation in HRM, the three public forums, will each present one panel expert speaker (Jarrett Walker, founder of Human Transit.org, Frank Palermo -Professor at Dalhousie’s School of Planning and Steven Dale, founder of Creative Urban Planning). Panelists have been chosen for being experts in public transit infrastructure in their Canadian city, and will provide diverse frameworks for thinking about transit and exploring different options. Each session will start with a panel presentation and follow with public discussion groups, in an effort to get people talking to each other about public transit in HRM and creating an infrastructure that we all value. Each session will build on the last to make a continuous looped discussion addressing the large scope of the topic, including both urban and suburban perspectives.
The first session, on Tuesday, June 28th, will “Explore the Options” around public transit in HRM. The second session on July 19th will strive to “Design the Network” and lastly, on September 7th the session will “Mobilize Public Support”. All public forum sessions have been slated to take place between 6pm-8pm at the World Trade and Convention Centre.
So, this is it, join the conversation about, and contribute your bus ticket, pass or $2.25 in change towards, the future of public transit in HRM, by participating in these 3 Public Forums.
Photo provided by the Planning and Design Centre.