The Robie Street / Young Street corridor is a key strategic link in municipality’s regional transportation network. The Integrated Mobility Plan identified the area as a transit priority corridor and is a critical component of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) proposed in the municipality’s Rapid Transit Strategy.
The Robie Street / Young Street Transit Priority Corridor project will establish the transit priority vision along this link. The goal of the project is to prioritize buses over general vehicle traffic through bus lanes and other features that will help improve the reliability and efficiency of the transit system and transportation network. The project aims to address short-, medium-, and long-term transit priority needs, provide infrastructure that helps meet transit needs today while planning for higher order transit in the future. [CM1]
This project is divided into two phases:
- Phase one – Completed October 2020. Addition of bus lanes to the majority of Robie Street (between Quinpool Road and Young Street) and Young Street (between Robie and Windsor Streets).
- Phase two – In progress. Completion of remaining sections of Robie Street (between Cunard Street and Almon Street) and Young Street (between Robie Street and Windsor Street). See the latest update below for details.
Latest update - July 2023:
In July 2019, Regional Council approved municipal staff’s recommendation to further investigate the right of way requirements necessary to accommodate continuous curbside transit lanes along the Robie Street / Young Street corridor in both directions, as well as an option that would add continuous median transit lanes along Robie Street in both directions.
The project is currently proceeding on two fronts – preliminary design and land needs:
- Preliminary design: The functional design (30 per cent) that was previously completed for the Robie Street and Young Street corridor will be advanced to a preliminary design level (60 per cent) in 2023.
- Land Needs: The current road right of way is too narrow to accommodate continuous transit priority lanes in both directions and appropriate pedestrian facilities. Additional municipal right-of-way is required along the Robie Street corridor to enable more advanced transportation opportunities in the future. Staff have contacted impacted landowners.
What has changed?
- Quinpool Road to Cunard Street: both directions
- Cunard Street to Almon Street: northbound (outbound) only
- Almon Street to Young Street (both directions)
The Robie Street bus lane is available for the exclusive use of transit vehicles Monday to Friday from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Outside of these times, some locations allow for parking and/or loading.
- Robie Street to Windsor Street: westbound (outbound) only
Why is transit priority needed here?
Served by eight routes and more than 40 buses during the morning and afternoon peak hours, the Robie/Young Street Transit Priority Corridor project is a key component of the Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP) and the Rapid Transit Strategy. The IMP recommended investment in transit lanes on several key corridors to prioritize buses over individual traffic, improve transit reliability, improve the efficiency of the regional transportation network, and ultimately encourage more people to use transit.
- July 2019 Regional Council-approved staff report on detailed design.
- Rapid Transit Strategy
- Integrated Mobility Plan
Project phasing snapshot:
If you have questions about this project, please see the frequently asked questions below:
- Why are these bus lanes necessary?
Traffic congestion on Robie Street and Young Street has significant impacts on Halifax Transit and reduces the ability to provide a high quality, reliable service to residents. Adding bus lanes to this roadway corridor will help to improve transit service and play a key role in achieving the desired transportation vision included in the Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP), the Moving Forward Together Plan (MFTP) and the Rapid Transit Strategy. Robust public transit will be key to supporting HRM’s ongoing rapid growth.
- Why Robie Street?
Robie Street runs down the center of the Halifax peninsula and for most of its length is a wide, four-lane boulevard with connections to many key destinations including hospitals, universities, commercial centres, and the Commons. It currently serves multiple bus routes and has been identified as a major component of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network proposed in municipality’s Rapid Transit Strategy.
- Why Young Street?
Young Street, in addition to serving the rapidly growing Young-Robie area, connects the existing bus corridors on Bayers Road and Robie Street, and is a component of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network proposed by municipality’s Rapid Transit Strategy.
- Is the municipality purchasing land as part of this project?
To complete transit priority lanes and related upgrades along Robie Street, the public right-of-way needs to be widened in some areas and acquisition of property will be necessary. Staff have contacted impacted landowners.
- How will this project impact pedestrians?
Part of the Phase 2 upgrades to the Robie-Young Transit Priority Corridor involves bringing the pedestrian infrastructure on the corridor up to a level appropriate to support the current and future growth in the area. Wider sidewalks, better separation between pedestrians and vehicles and intersection improvements will contribute to a safer, more comfortable neighborhood for pedestrians.
- How will the project impact cyclists?
These upgrades will not add dedicated bike infrastructure to the Robie Street corridor due to width constraints. Cyclists are permitted to use transit lanes where no dedicated bicycle facilities exist.
- How will the project impact trees?
Some sections of this project contain significant mature trees, although some have been lost or stunted due to the constricted nature of the boulevard spaces. Some mature trees will need to be removed during the project. Arborists and designers are working together to produce a plan which minimizes the loss of mature trees on the corridor and maximizes the opportunity for new plantings. Wider boulevards are being considered as part of the design to support more and healthier street trees in the future.
- How do the time restrictions for the bus lanes work?
On Robie Street, the bus lanes are in effect between 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. On Young Street, the bus lanes are in effect at all times. Time restrictions are identified on roadside signage. During these periods, vehicles are not permitted to drive, park or stop in the bus lanes. However, vehicles are permitted to merge into the bus lane to make a right turn at an intersection or driveway.
- Why are bus lanes only present in one direction in some areas?
Some sections of the Robie Street / Young Street corridor are currently too narrow to add bus lanes in both directions and widening of the roadway is required. Phase Two of the project aims to add bus lanes in both directions; planning and design work for Phase Two is currently underway.
If you have additional questions, please contact the project manager at the information listed below:
- Charlie Elliott, Project Manager, Design & Construction, Public Works.