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Buses & Ferries - Metro Transit

Metro Transit's new Harbour Ferry has a name!

Crowded Harbour FerryAfter a call for submissions, narrowing those submissions down to a finalist list of five and over 12,000 individuals picking their favourite name for the new harbour ferry, we have a winner.  The name of the new harbour ferry will be Christopher Stannix.

Of those who picked their favourite name for the new harbour ferry, 61% selected the name of Master Corporal Christopher Stannix.  Currently, the new harbour ferry name sits with Transport Canada for final approvals, which are expected to be received shortly. 

Once the new vessel is received, Metro Transit will organize a ceremony to commemorate its launch and more details on that will be available in the coming weeks.

Until then, please view some of the information on the Ferry Naming Contest.

Ferry Naming Contest - List of all completed submissions
Ferry Naming Contest - List of submissions sent to Selection Committee
Ferry Naming Contest - Five finalists and tally of selections

Harbour Ferries This Route has Accessible Low Floor Bus Service

Metro Transit ferries operate on two routes between terminals in downtown Halifax, Dartmouth and Woodside.

The ferry service is accessible, integrated with the bus and Access-A-Bus systems, carries up to 395 passengers, and has adjacent Park & Ride lots.

For up to date ferry schedules, click here.

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Strategic Ferry Operations Plan:

Chevron Presentation
(Five-Year Approach: Access-A-Bus & Ferry Strategic Plans)

Chevron Metro Transit Strategic Ferry Operations Plan

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Fast Ferry Background & Reports:

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A bit of History:

The harbour ferry service and its recognizable ferry vessels are a distinctive feature of the historic Halifax Harbour. The three ferries, christened the Dartmouth III, the Halifax III and the Woodside I, constantly criss-cross the second largest harbour in the world and have become one of the modern day icons of our region.

The ferry service also provides an important symbolic link with our community's past. In 2002, the Halifax Harbour ferry service celebrated its 250th anniversary, and it is the oldest, continuous, salt-water passenger ferry service in North America.

The "Dartmouth ferry" as it was originally known, began operation in 1752 and served as a vital link for the community of Dartmouth, which was settled a year after the larger British Military Garrison was established in Halifax. With vast farmland, woods and freshwater lakes, the Dartmouth settlers provided the Halifax garrison town with food products and ice for the many icehouses, which were used to keep food fresh.

The Dartmouth ferry continued to serve as the only quick way of travelling across the harbour to Halifax until 1955, when the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge was first opened.

 

Did you know?

... The original ferry vessel used was a large rowboat with a sail

... At one time, the ferry was operated using horses to power a wheel

... Even vehicles were once transported across the harbour by ferry

... In 1839, the Hon. Samuel Cunard was president of the Steam Boat Company, operators of the ferry service at the time. It was in that same year that Cunard secured his contract with the British Government for conveyance of the mail across the ocean by steam vessel, marking the beginnings of the famous Cunard Steamship Lines.

 

Today, the harbour ferry service is part of Halifax's regional transportation system, operated by Metro Transit and fully integrated with the bus system. The service was taken over by the regional transit system from the former city of Dartmouth in 1994.

HRM's Metro Transit system has the distinction of being one of only two public transit systems in the country to operate passenger ferries. The other is located in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The ferry is treasured by tourists, as a quick, easy, economical way to view our communities from the water, and by its 3000 loyal daily commuters, who value the experience of travelling to work year round by the scenic and convenient ferryboat.