Originally Posted by RyeJay
The notion that rail costs too much is rampant.
Costs too much? It costs too much not to...
The rail cost argument is based on the straw man of commuter rail systems in major cities. It is like arguing that you can't afford to buy a house because Bill Gates' mansion cost $150M.
In reality there are many, many different approaches and technologies available and the costs to implement them vary by orders of magnitude. Halifax could have streetcars, hybrid streetcar/LRT, LRT at grade, LRT in its own right of way above or below ground, a full subway, etc. Some of those options are unaffordable, like the subway, but others would not be particularly expensive as far as Halifax infrastructure projects go. Some rail lines have been built for around $60M. That is perfectly reasonable if you're talking about replacing routes like the 1, which handle 10,000+ people per day.
As I've said many times I think we should be looking at a streetcar/LRT type of setup to serve the core (and avoid bottlenecks) combined with expanded MetroLink-style service for the suburbs. HRM also needs to look at transit-oriented development when planning transit projects -- that is something other cities have been doing for years.