Despite a month-long construction delay, the new Dartmouth Bridge Terminal is expected to become fully operational on Oct. 1.
A decision was made by HRM staff on Tuesday that the terminal cannot be ready and commissioned in time for the previously planned opening date of Sept. 17.
"A second delay is regrettable and we apologize for any inconvenience to Metro Transit customers who have been patiently waiting for this improved facility," said Metro Transit director Eddie Robar. "We know this terminal will be worth the wait."
The delay is required to complete the accessible pedestrian bridge which enables upper level access to the terminal, to complete outstanding interior building details, to ensure all permits are in place, and to allow time for the terminal to be properly commissioned.
"Accessibility is one of the features we are most proud of in this new terminal and we want to ensure all Metro Transit passengers are able to fully use the terminal on opening day," said Terry Gallagher, HRM's manager of facility development.
The long-awaited new bus terminal near the Dartmouth Sportsplex was expected to be ready on Aug. 27, but HRM spokesperson Tiffany Chase said construction delays pushed that date back.
“It provides the chance to do (things like) operational testing and orientation with bus drivers because it’s laid out quite differently from the existing terminal,” Chase explained.
The current site only has room to accommodate six buses next to the platform. The new site allows 16 individual buses to pull up at any given time.
It also allows HRM time to complete final touches inside the new building as well as landscaping, concrete around the site and pedestrian trail connections leading into the terminal.
“These are a few of the final details we need to do. It’s better to complete the project entirely and give customers the terminal they were promised,” Chase said.
Some of the improvements include a climate-controlled terminal building complete with public washroom facilities.
“The building is an architecturally significant building for that area and more modern than most,” she said.
When the new terminal opens on Monday, Oct. 1, staff will be at the ‘old’ terminal that day to redirect any passengers who may not have heard about the change.
Chase said the Dartmouth Bridge Terminal is HRM’s busiest, with more than 23,000 passengers passing through on a typical weekday.
Information and updates on the new terminal can be accessed via Twitter @hfxtransit or online at www.halifax.ca/metrotransit .