Halifax Transit has designed policies and guidelines to ensure a positive and safe travel experience for passengers and Operators.
All Halifax Transit buses and ferries are accessible to passengers with mobility limitations.
Assistive Mobility Devices (Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters)
Mobility scooters are allowed on all Access-A-Buses, designated Accessible Low Floor (ALF), and conventional bus routes. Maximum size restrictions are:
• three-wheeled scooters: 40” x 21.125”
• four-wheeled scooters: 40.25” x 21.25”
All mobility devices will require at least two anchor or tie-down points, and should have four anchor or tie-down points if possible to secure the device to the bus. These are not provided by Halifax Transit and are the responsibility of the passenger to provide. Passengers using scooters are required to maneuver into the docking station and transfer to a fixed transit seat independently. The Operator will then secure the mobility device to the bus.
All knapsacks, shopping bags and storage compartments attached to the back of a wheelchair must be removed prior to the wheelchair being secured. This is necessary to ensure minimal movement between the wheelchair and the padded post. If required, the operator will remove a reasonable number of bags to ensure proper and safe securement of the wheelchair. The passenger is responsible for securing their bag/knapsack/packages while the bus is in motion.
Passengers are responsible for repairs/removal of their mobility devices, in the event of breakdown.
Assistive Mobility Devices on Ferries
Mobility scooters are allowed on all ferries. Maximum size restrictions are:
• three-wheeled scooters: 40” x 21.125”
• four-wheeled scooters: 40.25” x 21.25”
Mobility devices are to remain in the main cabin of the ferries. If passengers choose to transfer to a fixed seat, they must stay close to the mobility device. The responsibility of the mobility device resides with the passenger at all times within the terminal and onboard the ferries. Mobility devices are not allowed tow anything such as another wagon or trailer.
Passengers are required to stay clear of entrance to machinery spaces, emergency exits and all safety equipment. Passengers will be guided by general safety instructions of the Captain and the crew.
Accessible Bus Stops
Operators will deploy the ramp at the request of any passenger at any bus stop, other than those marked with a ‘No Ramp Deployed’ decal. Our three bus stop classifications are as follows:
Standard ALF Bus Stop (as indicated by an International Symbol of
Access (wheelchair) symbol) meets Halifax Transit’s accessible standards; where the ramp can be deployed, and the bus stop has a concrete landing pad (minimum size 1.5 m x 2.5 m) with access to a sidewalk.
Inaccessible Bus Stop (as indicated with a ‘no ramp’ symbol) is where the accessibility ramp cannot be deployed under any circumstance.
Non-Standard ALF Bus Stops (as indicated by no symbol) is where the ramp can be deployed, but these stops are not considered accessible under Halifax Transit standards and may only be used at the passenger’s own determination and risk.
- Bags and Backpacks
Bags and backpacks should not obstruct other passengers and should be stowed directly in front of you, on your lap, or in the overhead racks where provided. Bags and backpacks cannot block doors or aisles, lifesaving appliances, firefighting equipment, or emergency exits on the bus or ferry.
- Bikes on Buses
Bike racks are located at the front buses and can hold a maximum of two bikes. Each bike must be within the following size and weight capacity limits:
- Two tandem wheels, each between 50.8 cm and 73.5 cm in diameter (20”-29”)
- Weight up to 34kg (75lbs)
- Maximum wheelbase of 112 cm (44”)
- Maximum tire width of 6 cm (2.3”)
Both conventional bicycles and ebikes are permitted; gasoline-powered bicycles are not permitted on Halifax Transit bus bike racks.
Batteries on ebikes must remain connected to the ebike; passengers are not permitted to disconnect the battery and bring it on board the bus.
You are responsible for both loading and unloading your bike—the Operator can’t help you. Bike racks are available on a first-come first-served basis. If a bike rack space is not available, you will have to wait for the next bus. No cyclist is to be denied use of a bike rack or transit when an open space is available.
- Bikes on Ferries
There are two dedicated bicycle racks on each ferry that can accommodate up to eleven bicycles total, including two spaces for fat tire bikes. Ferry Crew or Terminal Security staff may restrict the number of bicycles depending on other safety and security factors.
Each bicycle rack can accommodate bicycles within the following size limits:
- Two tandem wheels
- Tire width up to 2" (5 cm) for conventional bikes or ebikes, or up to 5.5” (14 cm) for fat tire bikes or ebikes.
Ebikes are permitted to be transported on Halifax Transit ferries as long as they are safely stored in the bike racks provided; however, gas-powered bicycles are not permitted.
Batteries on ebikes must remain connected to the ebike; passengers are not permitted to disconnect the battery and/ or charge the battery at the terminal or on the ferry.
All persons must dismount their bike before entering the terminal buildings. Riding bikes inside the terminals, on ramps, and ferries is strictly prohibited.
All bikes must be properly stowed in the racks provided while onboard the ferries. If all available bike racks are in use, the owner will be asked to wait for the next ferry or make alternate arrangements.
- Children Ride for Free
Children aged 0-12 may use all transit services free of charge. This policy is designed to increase access to and encourage the use of public transportation by children, which will ideally lead to continued use of public transportation into adulthood.
In keeping with provincial guidance, masks are recommended on all Halifax Transit buses and ferries, and inside transit terminals.
- Food and Beverages
Beverages may be consumed on Halifax Transit buses if a sealable, spill-proof container is used. Single-use disposable cups are not permitted. Food cannot be consumed on buses because there is a risk of spillage when the bus accelerates or decelerates.
Under no circumstances is open alcohol allowed onboard or to be consumed on any Halifax Transit vehicle.
- Garbage and Recycling - Transporting on Halifax Transit
In order to maintain a safe and sanitary environment, the transportation of garbage, recycling, or composting on Halifax Transit vehicles is prohibited. Suspected violators will be denied access to a vehicle.
- Lost and Found
All found items are catalogued by the Halifax Transit Lost and Found Department located at the Bridge Terminal in Dartmouth. Valuable items are held for 30 days. Items not deemed valuable are held for 14 days. Perishable items are disposed of immediately. Call the Halifax Transit Lost and Found Department at 902.490.6617 if you think you’ve left an item on a bus or ferry.
- Luggage, Bags & Backpacks
Passengers are allowed to travel with luggage on all Halifax Transit buses and ferries only if the luggage can be safely stowed on the floor directly in front of you, on your lap, or in the overhead luggage rack where provided (Route 320 Airport - Fall River buses only).
While on the ferry, the owner is to remain with their luggage. Luggage is not permitted on the upper deck. Aisles and doorways must always be clear of any items that could impede the flow of passengers.
Bags and backpacks
Similar to luggage, your bag or backpack should not obstruct other passengers, and should be stowed directly in front of you, on your lap, or in the overhead racks where provided. Bags and backpacks cannot block doors or aisles, lifesaving appliances, firefighting equipment or emergency exits on the bus or ferry.
- Passenger Clothing
All passengers are required to wear: top, bottoms, and footwear. Those failing to meet these requirements will be denied service.
Transit Operators shall not deny access to passengers who are wearing religious, cultural, or medical clothing, which may include face coverings.
- Personal Transportation Devices
At this time, gas-powered bikes and motorized transportation devices, such as segways, e-scooters, and hoverboards, are not permitted on Halifax Transit conventional buses or ferries; however, a storage solution to safely store and transport escooters on ferries is currently underway. More information will be available in the coming weeks.
Skateboards, foldable manual scooters, and other manual transportation devices can be transported on Halifax Transit conventional buses if they are folded and stored on a passenger’s lap, as long as they do not pose a risk to passengers as tripping hazards, block safe access, or are at risk of becoming a projectile in the event of a collision.
You cannot wear your skates or roller skates on the bus or ferry or inside any of the Transit Terminals.
Pets are allowed on Halifax Transit vehicles and ferries if properly restrained in a closed pet container that prevents them from escaping. Passengers carrying an appropriate container may travel with the container either on their lap or placed on the floor. A container cannot impede the free passage of customers or block any doors or emergency exits. Passengers should ensure containers are clean, free of odor, and have no sharp edges. Pets are not to be left unattended at any time. Pet containers are not to exceed 16" (40.6 cm) high X 21" (53.3 cm) deep X 27" (68.6 cm) wide.
The transit Operator, at their discretion, may not allow a passenger to board with their pet if there is a concern for the safety or comfort of fellow passengers. If only standing room is available, the transit Operator may refuse passage to the pet and pet owner even with an adequate container.
- Request-A-Stop Program
Sometimes passengers may need to get off the bus somewhere other than a scheduled stop. Halifax Transit offers the Request-A-Stop Program for these situations.
Request-A-Stop service is available to:
• Unaccompanied persons travelling on conventional service buses (excluding Regional Express) after dusk.
• Passengers with a mobility impairment, at any time of day, when necessary for special circumstances, such as poor weather or for safety reasons.
To disembark at a location other than a regular bus stop along the route, speak with the Operator at least one stop before your desired stop. In order to meet your request, the Operator must be able to stop safely and obey transit safety regulations. If they can’t stop safely or legally, the Operator may deny your request and choose an alternate stopping point.
In accordance with the Smoke-free Places Act and By-Law N-300 (Respecting Nuisances and Smoking), smoking and vaping on municipal property, including transit property and sidewalks, is permitted only within municipal designated smoking areas (DSAs). This includes both smoking and vaping tobacco and cannabis products.
- Seniors - Free Fare Tuesdays
Halifax Transit service is free for people aged 65 and older during certain times every Tuesday. Seniors can travel free of charge from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and after 6 p.m. on conventional bus and ferry services, including Regional Express Service. A premium fare for Regional Express ($1.00) is required.
Access-A-Bus services are excluded from this program.
Seniors who qualify for free travel should carry proper photo identification, as the Operator may ask for proof of age.
- Service Animal
Customers who require the support of a service animal are permitted to bring their service animals into all Halifax Transit facilities and on all vehicles and vessels. For the safety of all customers, service animals must be securely leashed and under the care and control of the owner at all times.
Transit Operators may deny access to a service animal if the Operator has reasonable grounds to believe that the service animal poses a risk of injury to other passengers or service animals. The Operator will not be held responsible if a service animal causes injury to a passenger.
What is a Service Dog?
Service dogs are specially trained to assist individuals with disabilities with everyday activities like carrying or retrieving items, ringing doorbells, assisting with balance and stability, alerting or responding to seizures or diabetic episodes and other tasks. For additional information and reference the Provincial Service Dog Act can be found at the following link: https://novascotia.ca/servicedogs/.
Service Dog Identification
Customers are not required to carry identification for their service dog; however, Halifax Transit encourages the use of certification documents or municipally issued Service Animal Identification (ID) tags to assist transit Operators in distinguishing between service dogs and pets.
Customers without identification for their service dog may be asked to provide contact information (name, address, and telephone number) to facilitate their future access to the transit system.
For the convenience of passengers who require the support of a service dog but who do not have or are unable to conveniently carry certification identification, the municipality will provide an identifiable tag for the dog. You can license or renew the license for your service dog in person at any municipal Citizen Contact Centre or select veterinary clinics.
How to Get a Service Dog Tag
As per By-law A-600, to get a Service Animal tag, the owner needs to provide the following to the Licensing office, where appropriate:
- A certificate from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind or the Hearing Ear Dogs of Canada in respect of the service animal;
- A certificate issued under the Service Dog Act; A certificate from an approved certification program (License office will review any certification programs someone has completed if they don’t fall under the Service Dog Act);
- A certificate stating that the dog is used for search and rescue or law enforcement purposes
To be considered under the Service Dog Act, owners can apply for certification. If a Service Dog is not trained by one of the accredited schools, then the owner must take the dog through a service dog assessment administered by St. John Ambulance.
Service Dogs can be given a lifetime license if the dog is microchipped.
Comfort and Therapy Animals
The Provincial Service Dog Act does not protect pets, emotional support animals or therapy animals. As such, comfort and therapy animals do not have the same right of access as service dogs on Halifax Transit and all rules related to Pets will be enforced.
Passengers are permitted to bring strollers on Halifax Transit vehicles as long as they are smaller than 42” x 22.5” (double wide strollers will not be allowed). The transit Operator will have ultimate discretion based on the size of the stroller or the amount of room available on the bus and/or ferry due to capacity, and other safety considerations.
Strollers are not permitted on the upper deck of the ferries.
Please note: children’s push carts, wagons, and bicycles are not permitted on buses and ferries due to safety concerns as these items have the potential to become a projectile in the event of a sudden stop or collision.
- Surveillance Cameras
All of Halifax Transit buses and ferries, as well as our terminals, are equipped with surveillance cameras to provide greater security for our passengers and Operators. As required by privacy laws, signs are posted on buses, ferries and in terminals to advise passengers of the presence of cameras.