Macdonald Bridge Redecking Service Disruptions & Shuttle Details
Please be advised the Macdonald Bridge will be open tonight, Friday, Oct. 21 but will close at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Oct.22 and remain closed until 5:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 24. Halifax Transit will be running MacDonald Bridge shuttles on Friday night starting at 7 p.m. and MacKay shuttles will begin on Saturday at 6 a.m. until the end of service on Sunday night.
We have been operating shuttles across the MacKay Bridge since the Big Lift project began in March 2015, during the planned Sunday to Friday night closures, beginning at 6:30 p.m. until the end of the service day.
On August 22, 2016, the format of the Saturday (all day) and Sunday (day time up to 6:30 p.m.) service during weekend bridge closures changed to match the weekday evening shuttle service. Formerly, we were detouring all affected routes during those time periods, as we hadn’t planned for the bridge to be closed on the weekends; prior to the Big Lift getting underway, Halifax Harbour Bridges had stated it would only require occasional weekend closures, which shifted in April 2016 to include all weekends. We needed to make significant changes to the operator work schedules in order to accommodate this shift and implement the shuttles at all times during the planned bridge closures.
The shuttle service is much more predictable for passengers than detouring routes all day long. Although detoured routes may be more convenient for some passengers, as no transfer is required, it can and has caused significant service delays throughout the system as the day goes on, which provides much less predictability and service reliability for the majority of passengers. With the shuttle service, there are predictable, scheduled times for when the shuttle and affected routes depart and arrive at Scotia Square, Highfield Terminal, and the Bridge Terminal.
We understand the bridge closures and our required service adjustments are challenging for our passengers. We appreciate your patience as we manage the impact of the bridge closures on our service as best as possible given the circumstances.
MacKay Bridge Shuttle Service
During the hours of the Macdonald Bridge closures on Monday to Friday evenings from 6:30 p.m. until the end of the service day, and all day on weekends, shuttle bus service is provided in place of routes that normally travel across the Macdonald Bridge.
Passengers travelling to Dartmouth will disembark at the Scotia Square Terminal and board a shuttle at the MetroLink bus stop. If the Macdonald Bridge is open to traffic, shuttle buses will travel the Macdonald Bridge (stopping at all stops along Gottingen and on North Street) but in most cases, shuttle buses will travel the MacKay Bridge (servicing stops along Gottingen Street, but not North) and passengers would disembark at the Highfield Terminal or Bridge Terminal in Dartmouth to continue their travels.
The following routes are impacted by the redecking project from 6:30 p.m. until 5:30 a.m., Monday to Friday, and all day on Saturday and Sunday (where applicable):
Overall Riders Guide -
Macdonald Bridge Shuttle Buses* - in the event the Macdonald Bridge is open during evenings or weekends
MacKay Bridge Shuttle Buses - in the event the Macdonald Bridge is entirely closed
Route 1 Spring Garden
Route 10 Dalhousie
Route 14 Leiblin Park
Route 41 Dartmouth/Dalhousie
Route 52 Crosstown
Route 61 Auburn/North Preston
Route 159 Portland Hills MetroLink
Route 320 Fall River/Airport MetroX**
*Due to advance bus operator scheduling requirements, the shuttle service will remain in effect during weeknights and weekends when the Macdonald Bridge is open. The shuttles will cross the Macdonald Bridge instead of the MacKay Bridge.
**Route 320 will provide two AM peak trips, please see Riders’ Guide, from Albemarle St. to the Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Saturdays & Sundays. All remaining trips on Route 320 will travel between Bridge Terminal and the airport on Saturdays & Sundays.
At this time, Google Transit will not highlight the Macdonald or MacKay Bridge shuttles and the Departures line will only recognize the scheduled departures/arrivals of buses at impacted bus stops.
Alderney Ferry Service Expansion:
An alternative option for passengers travelling from Halifax to Dartmouth is to take the ferry. Both weekday and weekend service was increased when the Big Lift project began in March 2015.