HRM is a large and diverse city. If we all agree that services like MusGo are the best option for rural areas and an improved transit system is the best option for urban areas, what do we do with the communities in-between? Park-and-rides. The area in-between the deep rural areas and the heart of the city is also very important and cannot be ignored. Some of these services already exist; buses from Fall River and Tantallon offer direct service bus service to the downtown area.
I received an e-mail from a citizen that lives in Lake Echo. She works in the downtown core and has to drive into work every day. She would like to take the bus, but it is too far to walk from her home to the closest bus stop, and rainy or snowy or cold days (which we do have here in HRM) make it even more difficult. A park-and-ride would be of great benefit to someone like her, and it would be an improvement to get her using transit.
How do we add park-and-rides? We could spend a lot of money. I do not like spending a lot of money. Should we invest in more park-and-rides in the long term? Yes. What can we do in the short term? We already have some big parking lots on the outside of our city. Bayers Lake and Dartmouth Crossing are the two prime examples that come to mind. We could work with these two areas by using the existing parking lots there and by adding park-and-rides. They could affordably and easily support cars, especially during the weekdays when these areas are not as busy. This is a solution worth exploring.