Macdonald bridge redecking: Free ferry for cyclists?


Briding the harbour with free ferry service...


Beginning in June of 2015, the bike and walking lanes on the Macdonald Bridge will be closed for 18 months while the 60-year-old structure undergoes redecking. Halifax Transit will be providing a shuttle service for cyclists and pedestrians, but Dartmouth resident Valerie Walker proposes another good idea, too.

I love it! What do you think?


Hey Halifax! I have a good idea!!!

It’s about “The Big Lift” renovation to the Macdonald Bridge.

Cyclists (including me) will lose the use of the bridge for more than a year while the re-construction takes place, and it is all for a very good cause. Plans are in the works for a free shuttle (with a trailer attached) for pedestrians and cyclists whose regular MacDonald Bridge commute will be otherwise impossible. This is a fine idea.

But…I would like to suggest that, in addition to this, cyclists be given free passage on the ferry that runs between Alderney Landing and the Halifax Ferry Terminal for the duration of the closure.
Here are a bunch of good reasons:
* It would take pressure off the shuttle service.
* It would make use of a vehicle that is already going to and fro across the harbour.
* Cyclists HATE creeping along in a motorized vehicle in rush hour traffic!
(It is half the reason that I cycle.)
* It might win the ferry some new commuters when the Big Lift is over.
* It would surely be easy to administer. It will be obvious if a commuter has a bike with them or not (i.e. no special pass or card, or ticket required).
No extra vigilance would be required. Cyclists would only pay a fare if they wanted a transfer.

This would not reduce Halifax Transit revenues in any significant way because these folk would presumably be otherwise using the shuttle. Finally, it would be a gesture of goodwill to the community of people who commute by bicycle and who will be missing that beautiful trek over the bridge. A little dose of fresh air on the top deck of the ferry might not be a complete replacement, but it can’t hurt.

I suggested it to the City a week ago and to Halifax Transit today. If you don’t mind sharing, I would appreciate it. I wonder how many “shares” it will take before Halifax Transit takes notice? Okay friends-of-cyclists, 1,2,3, GO!


MacDonald Bridge bicycle and pedestrian routes and approach