Bus Service, Halifax
FRED stands for Free Rides Everywhere Downtown Halifax. It's a free bus service operated by the Downtown Halifax Business Club.
July to the end of October, seven days a week from 10:30AM to 5:30PM.
-Cruise Ship Pavilion/Pier 21 on the :30/:10/:50
-Casino Nova Scotia on the :38/:18/:58
-Top of the Halifax Citadel on the :48/:28/:08
2014 update: The service was stopped as it covered a local bus route (but that is stopped too now).
Public transportation is limited to the bus and the harbour ferry. It's not too bad a system for the most part though weekends and holiday service is a bit sparser. Main routes are serviced regularly then at least and there are improvements in the offing.
2014 prices: Adult prices: It costs $2.50 for a bus ride, and you can ask for a paper transfer good for up to an hour or an hour and a half. For Adults, a sheet of 10 tickets is $20 and a monthly pass is $78 Children under 5 are free. Children 5 and over and Seniors (65+) are $1.75 cash, $58 for a monthly pass and $14.50 for 10 tickets. Students only get a discount for the pass, $70.00 but several universities include a school-year pass (Sept. to May) in the yearly tuition.
NOTE: you must have exact change, Drivers do not make change.
The transfer is also good on the harbour ferries. The main one connects downtown Dartmouth and Halifax and is a lovely 12 minute or so ride. The Woodside Ferry connects downtown Halifax to Woodside where the Dartmouth General Hospital is as well as the community college. There's one other reason for a tourist to go to Woodside, John's Lunch, a diner on the street where the ferry terminal is!
You get a great view of the Halifax skyline from the upper deck of the ferry on a nice day. Website has route maps and schedules.
You can ask for a paper transfer to continue to the next bus or return to your starting point. They're good for about an hour and a half and can also be used on the ferry.
The MetroLink is an express service. The 165 bus links from the Woodside ferry terminal to the Portland Hills terminal at weekdays rush hours only. The 159 bus links from Portland Hills to downtown Halifax (Scotia Square only and only from Monday to Friday all day) and the 185 from the Sackville Terminal to downtown again, only Monday to Friday all day. The cost for these express busses is 50 cents more than the regular fares. Passes are available. You can pay the 50 cents plus a transfer, regular priced ticket or if you have a regular pass, pay 50 cents and show the pass.
The MetroX service is another express bus service mainly for commuters to come into the city from the outlying areas in the morning and back in the evening. There are a couple of return trips through the day with most of the service one way in in the morning and out at afternoon rush hour. The basic fare is $3.50 for an Adult or a ticket/pass/transfer plus $1.00.
MetroX also provides a service to the airport which only stops a couple of times including one at the main Dartmouth bus terminal and just behind Scotia Square downtown Halifax, which is where most of the busses link. It drops you off behind and you have to walk around the block to the front of the complex to get another bus or a taxi on the Duke Street side. Using the schedule in the link it's bus number 320 in the MetroX section.
Although Halifax has a reasonable bus service, it is very difficult to find the necessary information. Even the bus stops are difficult to spot, and when you have found one there is no information on routes, times or anything.
You really need to get a transport map and timetable booklet from the tourist information centre (on Barrington Street, or the harbourfront behind the Maritime Museum), or check-out (and print off) information from the Halifax Metro Transit website listed below.
The fare is $1.75 (exact change required), and you need to ask the driver if you want a transfer ticket. You can buy multiple tickets at a discount from some retail oulets, but these are only available in 20s ($30 = $1.50 per ticket) and so not so useful if you are only here for a few days.
If you're not interested in driving in the city, you can always take the bus. There are buses that cross the bridges between Halifax and Dartmouth daily. I found the best way to figure out how to get from one place to the other is to ask the bus drivers. It's much easier than trying to figure out the schedules. If you wish to find out when the bus is expected to arrive at the bus stop you are at you can call the number at the bottom of the bus sign, enter the bus route you are waiting for and you will receive a recording that tells you when the next bus is scheduled to arrive.
Different routes stop running at different times. Make sure you know what time you need to be back to your accommodations or you may end up taking a taxi or walking because the route you need has stopped running for the evening.
It is relatively cheap to ride the bus. $2.50/adult and you can ask for a transfer which will get you onto another bus or either the Woodside or Aldernay Ferry. For current rates check here.
The buses are clean and air conditioned for those hot humid days. They also have many buses which offer handicap access and bike racks that hold up to two bicycles. Check the Route schedule information for buses that have these services.
1 Mumford Terminal-Spring Garden-Darthm. Br
3 Manors-Bayers-Point Pleasant
4 Sherwood Heights-Lacewood-Rosedale-Bayers-Mumford-Scotia
7 Northridge-Robie-Scotia Square-Gottingen
9 Mumford-Barrington-Scotia Square-Point Pleasant
10 Dalhousie-Darthm. Br-MicMacMall-Tacoma
15 Mumford-Purcell's Cove
17 Lacewood-Bayers-Saint Mary's-Dalhousie
18 Lacewood Terminal-Windsor-Dalhousie Universities
20 Herring Cove-Greystone-Spryfield-Mumford-Cornwallis
26 Metro Transit Shuttle
32 Cowie Hill-Spryfield-Scotia
41* Dalhousie-Darthmouth Br
51 Shannon-Darthmouth Bridge-Gottingen
52 Burnside Industrial-Commodore Business-Crosstown-Bayers Lake
53 Highfield-Notting-Darthm. Br-Summer
54 Montebello-MicMacMall-Darthmouth Ferry
55 Portobello-Port Wallace-MicMacMall-Darthm. Ferry
58 Woodlawn-Pennhorn-Darthm. Br-Mumford
59 Colby-Portland Hills-Darthm. Br-Summer
60 Eastern Passage-Darthmouth Ferries-Darthm. Br
61 Auburn/North Preston-Portland Hill-Pennhorn-Darthm. Br-Scotia
62 Forest Hills-Wildwood-Pennhorn-Darthm. Br
63 Woodside-Darthmouth Ferries-Darthm. Br
64 Burnside Industrial-Akerley-Highfield-Darthm. Br
65 Astral-Portland Hills-Pennhorn-Dartm. Ferry
68 Cherry Brook-Portland Hills-Ferry-Darthm. Br-Summer
72 Portland Hills-MicMacMall-MetroTransit-Highfield
81 Hemlock Ravine-Birch Cove-Bayers-Scotia
87 Sackville-Downsview-Cobequid-Highfield-Darthm. Br-Summer
159 Portland Hills-Darthmouth Br-Duke
165 Portland Hills-Woodside Link
185 Sackville-Burnside industrial-Duke
Real time Public Transportation info on the Halifax map.
well bus 12 takes you to the Bayers Lake shopping District just off highway 103....... it has lots of big cool stores like Costco, WalMart, IMAX theatre and tons more.....other buses that are cool are like 21 and 4........
Well drive or take the buses, or a cab.
I travelled around Nova Scotia using the SMT bus www.smtbus.com and using a private shuttle van (to get to PEI) and by taking trips organized through the hostel.
In Halifax take the Halifax to Dartmouth ferry (it is part of the regular bus service) as a great tour of the harbour.
There is a bus station in Halifax. From Halifax, you can take a bus to any place in the Maritimes, and some places outside too. Within the Maritimes, the bus ride usually takes anywhere from 1 to 6 hours.
The bus was convenient because the terminal was right across the street from my hotel in Dartmouth - the Harborview Holiday Inn. Also, crossing MacDonald Bridge offered a great view of Halifax Harbor. The bus was the same price as the ferry ( $1.65 one way) - quite reasonable. I did have to wait for the bus a little longer.