Halifax: Streetcars Return - Serve Key Routes during Transit Strike

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The Halifax Streetcar Conglomerate (HSC) is reviving the light-rail system in time to provide relief from the ongoing Metro Transit strike. Steel wheels will roll again. On Monday.

Toronto's loss is a win for Halifax as "gravy train" trams arrive to serve commuters on key routes.

HALIFAX (WireService.ca) -- Streetcar service is returning to Halifax for the first time in more than sixty years. The Halifax Streetcar Conglomerate (HSC) announced Thursday that it is taking delivery of dozens of surplus Toronto "red rocket" trams and will offer service on three routes. On Monday.

"Toronto Mayor Rob Ford lost some friends when he revealed that ending the 'Gravy Train' meant swapping his city's future from light rail to subways," said HSC CEO Gord McCord. "The disposal of Toronto's CLRV fleet and the dismissal of the TTC's General Manager have coincided with the Metro Transit strike to create a perfect storm for a city all too familiar with storms. We are proud to be taking Halifax into the future with a transit modality that served it so well in the past."

Thirty-five surplus tram cars, made in Thunder Bay, Ontario for the TTC, are arriving this week at the Ceres container terminal for the launch of Halifax streetcar service on what Metro Transit has traditionally called routes 7, 20 and 80.

Though track construction and overhead wiring went surprisingly unnoticed by some residents, an HSC manager is confident Haligonians will appreciate the difference made by the privately-funded start-up.

"Riders feel hurt by the labour dispute, but we're not about to give the riders up," said HSC Manager of Rolling Stock, T. Richard Astley. "We're never going to let you down. Will we run around and desert you? We will not. Our trams are on rails."

HSC has committed to a five year plan with a goal of profitability at the end of year four. Fares for this premium service will be $4. Discount fares will not be available at launch time, but could be considered in the future.

Steel wheels will roll again in Halifax. On Monday.


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