Recently, for an article on commuter rail, BOMA Nova Scotia expressed our concerns about Halifax Council’s decision to move forward with the VIA Rail proposal for commuter rail to Chronicle Herald reporters.  The Commuter Rail study commissioned by HRM in 2014 ( for the same service being proposed currently) concluded that no more than 4,000 riders would be attracted to the Commuter Rail service offered by VIA Rail, and these would consist of present users of automobiles, not those that use Halifax Transit. The present transit system is fraught with problems of reliability and clogged roads… so how are current and future users to benefit from this proposal? Experience in other jurisdictions clearly shows that the addition of an alternate and reliable system for public transit serves to increase dramatically the overall use of public transportation. We find it interesting that HRM Council have concluded that 100,000 current users of public transit in Halifax do not deserve better than they are getting now!

BOMA Nova Scotia believes that HRM cannot know the long term benefits of a light rail system, or the cost benefit analysis associated with it, unless they proceed with a study that includes all of the criteria that impact viability. We believe that it is in the best interests of everyone in HRM that, before moving forward with a final decision on the Via Rail proposal, a feasibility study on the more sustainable, long term solution of LRT (with supporting bus and ferry transit) be carried out.