Correction: This story has been edited to clarify that OPB Reality Inc., are the owners of the Halifax Shopping Centre and that Cushman & Wakefield are the property managers of the centre.
Halifax municipal staff have identified their preferred location for a new Mumford Transit Terminal — and it’s the exact same place as it is now.
The details are provided in a 125-page report headed to Halifax’s transportation standing committee next week and recommend that the city not find a new location for the terminal, but remodel and greatly expand the size and scope of the current terminal located near the Halifax Shopping Centre.
Approximately 5,000 people board the 350 buses that travel through the current terminal every day, making it the third-busiest node in the Halifax Transit network.
But that means the strategically located facility is over capacity and “due for replacement before additional service can be introduced,” as part of Halifax Transit’s Moving Forward Together Plan (MFTP), according to the report.
The MFTP, passed by council in 2016, is meant to re-invent the municipality’s transit network and transit infrastructure in a phased approach. The MFTP has tentatively scheduled the Mumford terminal replacement to be completed by 2020/21 and design work is slated to start in 2019/20.
Staff say the current facility doesn’t have enough bus bays, provides insufficient amenities for passengers and that access to the terminal for pedestrians is “indirect and awkward.”
The new terminal — if accepted and built — is expected to increase the number of passengers served, boost the number of routes it services from 10 to 12 and have an effective lifespan of 50 years.
The review of the Mumford Transit Terminal was carried out by Dillon Consulting and a completed version of the review is attached to the staff report headed to the transit committee.
The study saw Dillon review the current terminal, analyze terminals in other municipalities and consult with the public.
They then created and reviewed 11 potential sites within 1.5 kilometres of the existing site including the Joseph Howe Dr. Superstore, the corner of Bayers Rd. and Connaught Ave., and Mumford Rd. opposite the Sears.
According to results conducted by Dillon in-person and online, more than half of respondents said they’d preferred expansion on the existing site of the Mumford terminal. Municipal staff and Dillon both agreed.
The consultant then analyzed ten different designs of the site, eventually selecting an option that would be large enough to “accommodate a building, heated bus shelters, overhead canopies and other amenities.”
The new, larger facility would take up a large chunk of what is currently a parking lot between Mumford terminal and the stores in a nearby strip mall.
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The project would require a re-alignment of the roadways leading in and out of the current parking but would come with the benefit of giving transit buses their own lanes and signals.
A nearby Walmart would also lose parking spaces due to the re-alignment.
The resulting terminal would produce 11 bus bays in its new bus loop as well as one on-street bay on the southbound side of Mumford Rd.
The report recommends negotiation with the owners of the land planned for the new Mumford Terminal.
The total price tag for the project, including site preparation and construction of the new facility’s building is estimated to be $15.4 million
The transportation standing committee meets on Wednesday.
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