In this commentary, Bill Black of New Start Nova Scotia addresses the difficulty of commuting into Halifax from outside of the city. It takes too long to get to the urban core of Halifax from outside the peninsula. Many commuters report travel times of forty-five minutes to as much as an hour and a half, much too high for a city of less than 400,000 people.

Black suggests there is a great opportunity to better use our south end port lands and the rail cut that accesses them. The rail cut from downtown to Bayers Road can be converted to vehicular use, plus adjacent space for active transportation. Commuters using this route could expect substantial savings in travel time and the existing routes would be less congested. Greenhouse gas emissions would be correspondingly reduced. This would substantially reduce travel times for people coming into the downtown area for work, study, entertainment, or health care. It can dramatically improve Halifax’s attractiveness as a place to live or visit.

In Commuter Cut, Black lays out the proposal for eased commutes and writes that Government should immediately commission a proper evaluation. In the meantime, he urges Haligonians to please join the conversation.

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