Lisa Blackburn, District 14 councillor (Healey photo)

FALL RIVER: The ‘Moving Forward Together’ plan is going to have a much needed “sober second look” the local councillor for Waverley-Fall River-Musquodoboit Valley said.

As part of the initial recommendation from HRM staff is to not extend the MetroX bus into the community, to either a drop off/pick up spot only at the Sobeys mall or at the former Munden Property lands on Hwy 2 across the road.

Steve Streatch said there were 30-some amendments being proposed by several councillors, including himself.

“It is going to get a sober second look,” said Streatch on Dec. 9. “There were a couple of amendments in our district among those amendments.

“There were other councillors that wanted changes that went above and beyond what the report was recommending.”

He said at that point, councillors decided it would be best to engage an external consultant to look at all the outstanding amendments and bring them forward in the very near future.

“The report, as presented, did not include any new routes, including Fall River,” he said. “I spoke clearly that we should at least have the airport bus come in as far as Sobeys and make the turn around and go back out. We’ve put that on the radar and my hope is when the consultant report comes back we’ll have a positive recommendation for that new route.”

Steve Streatch (Healey photo)

Streatch said he is aware that Crombie is exploring options of putting a drop-and-go stop, like they have at other Sobeys they own in HRM, at the site in Fall River.

Meanwhile, Upper/Middle Sackville-Lucasville-Beaver Bank councillor Lisa Blackburn isn’t thrilled that staff recommended to cut the Beaver Bank service off at the community centre.

“I do not agree with cutting the service of the 400 bus off at the Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre. I have questions about how the service level data was collected,” said Blackburn. “That said, council has just voted to bring in a consultant to have a look at the plan and make recommendations.”

She hopes the consultant can answer some of her and her council colleagues questions.

“I look forward to hearing the perspective that person can bring to the table,” she said.

But outside of the new perspective, she takes issue with what staff presented.

“I have a real problem with the plan cutting off seniors from access to transit,” she said. “New technology on the buses will give us a more accurate count of ridership and I hope it will give me the data I need to fight for this service at council.”

Blackburn admits that the changes to the ‘Moving Forward Together’ plan does bring excitement to the rest of the route.

“For the first time ever, residents will be able to catch a bus on the Beaver Bank Road and it will be an express bus that will take them directly downtown,” she said. “That will be huge for commuters and I think will mean more residents taking the bus.”