‘We’re waiting for this final design study’: HRM councilor on Bedford electric ferry proposal

Driving from Bedford to Halifax takes gas and patience.

So the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is floating the idea of ​​a fleet of electric ferries that would travel from Mill Cove in Bedford to the Halifax’s downtown ferry terminal.

It was announced in June, but a $3 million study to design the vessels, a new terminal, and retrofit Halifax’s downtown terminal hasn’t made it to council yet.

“We’re waiting for this final design study because in order to apply for the funding,” said area councilor Tim Outhit, adding there are many questions that need answers.

“Are they going to be electric? Are they going to be diesel? Are they going to be hybrid? What’s the size and cost of the terminal?”

The HRM is also seeking input in an online survey that wraps Friday. It’s asking people questions such as: how often they’d hop on the Mill Cove ferry? And how much they believe each ride should cost.

“Are you willing for it to take 18 minutes, 20 minutes, 14 minutes? That sort of thing, do you know? Just a little market feedback if you will on how it should be designed,” said Outhit.

Linking Bedford to Halifax has been talked about for more than a decade. When the concept of a commuter train ran into trouble, the idea of ​​a ferry surfaced.

This week’s federal budget earmarked billions for the green economy.

More money hasn’t been set aside for this potential project yet – because it hasn’t been requested.

“But it’s something that we certainly will be looking forward to receiving the application and I hope we do,” said Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West.

Outhit expects the design study to make it to City Council in the next few months so council can put a price tag on the project and ask for more support from the province and Ottawa.

He said he hopes the ferry is running by 2024 or 2025.

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