Access to Transit

Created by Michaela Bray, MPlan Student

A bus stop with a shelter, bench, and trash can

Transit systems connect riders to a variety of goods and services. In HRM, the predominant modes of public transit are buses and ferries connecting communities across Halifax and Dartmouth. These systems provide economic (e.g., get people to jobs), environmental (e.g., reduce use of cars), and health-related benefits (e.g., facilitate walking to bus stops) to the communities they serve. More specifically, health-related benefits of transit systems include increased mobility, improved accessibility to services and amenities for non-drivers, and increased physical activity by stimulating more walking and bicycling trips to connect to the transit network1. The US National Household Travel Survey revealed that 29% of transit users achieved the often recommended 30 minutes of physical activity per day simply by walking to and from transit2.

The values for this indicator were calculated as a percentage of the population located within a reasonable walking distance of any transit stop. The percentage of people in each COMe within 800 metres (i.e. a 10-minute walk) of any transit stop was calculated using a Network Analyst geoprocessing tool in ArcMap 10.5. The populations within each COMe boundary and the locations of all transit stops in HRM (n=2,403) were identified using the 2016 Census (Statistics Canada) and HRM Open Data (2019), respectively.

1. Litman, T. (2019). The Future is Not What it Used to Be: Changing Travel Demands and their Implications for Transport Planning. Plan Canada, Spring 2019, 180-185.

2. Lachapelle, U., Frank, L. (2009). Transit and Health: Mode of Transport, Employer-Sponsored Public Transit Pass Programs, and Physical Activity. Journal of Public Health Policy, 30, S73–S94.