Municipal Programs, Services, and Updates

Halifax Transit

On May 3, 2021, Halifax Transit announced they will begin installing signage on alternating seats on conventional buses and ferries to encourage passengers to appropriately distance themselves while travelling. Several other measures have been taken to help reduce the spread of disease, including an increased frequency in wipe-downs of high-touch surfaces as well as the installation of polycarbonate shields next to the bus operators on conventional buses. 
 
Riders are reminded to continue following public health orders, including mandatory masks on all Halifax Transit buses, ferries and terminals. Transit riders are responsible for bringing their own masks. Those who are feeling ill should not use any transit service until their health returns to normal. Before heading out on your trip, all riders are encouraged to check for possible delays and/or cancellations. Halifax Transit will make every effort to share route disruptions as timely as possible via the HRM website and @hfxtransit on Twitter.

Recent data has shown that ridership on bus trips is low, with the busiest daily trip reaching 43 per cent capacity. Staff will continue to monitor ridership and capacity for any changes that may be required. Based on current staff availability, Halifax Transit anticipates that conventional bus service will continue to be impacted. Ferry service is expected to continue as scheduled.

Halifax Transit has been designated an essential service by the Province of Nova Scotia under the current provincial state of emergency. The two-metre physical distancing and physical gathering limits do not apply to Halifax Transit as stated in the provincial order.
 
For more information on municipal services during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Halifax.ca/coronavirus

HRM Tax Deferral

Regional Council has voted to provide immediate relief to both residential and business customers. These efforts include:

  • The deferral of the interim tax bill due date from April 30, 2020 to June 1, 2020;
  • The suspension of Non-Sufficient Fund fees; and
  • The reduction of the interest rate charged on arrears from 15% per annum to 10% per annum.

With these changes, it is critical that those who can pay their taxes continue do so in a timely fashion. Tax revenue makes up 82% of the municipality’s revenue. Operating expenses total approximately $100 million per month and, while the municipality is financially sound, a significant amount of cashflow is required to provide services, pay vendors and suppliers and continue with capital projects that support the economy.

For more information, including information for residents on a Pre-Authorized Payment (PAP), visit Halifax.ca.

Halifax Partnership SmartBusiness Program: ShopHERE Powered by Google

The ShopHERE powered by Google program offers small, registered businesses the opportunity to build a digital presence. Get matched with an experienced ShopHERE eCommerce Coordinator who will build or improve your online website at no cost. Get the opportunity to work one-on one with an eCommerce Coordinator to build a transactional eCommerce website on either the Shopify or Square platforms. Learn more about the program and apply here.

Halifax Partnership SmartBusiness Program: Access Local

The Access Local program will boost marketing and sales support for small businesses in Halifax through vLife’s online marketplace. This program is designed to connect small businesses to the consumers who are looking to purchase goods and services from local businesses. With a one-year membership to vLife, you can promote your business and drive people to your website or social channels. You’ll be connected with a mentor who will help you set up your vStore and guide you through the process to launch. Plus, once your vStore is up and running you’ll get ongoing support and promotions from vLife. You can find the eligibility criteria and apply for the program here.

Halifax Partnership SmartBusiness Program: Virtual Advisor

The Virtual Advisor Program gives businesses one-on-one support from an experienced business adviser. Our free Virtual Adviser Program powered by BoomersPlus.com matches businesses with a seasoned professional to help them solve a unique challenge their business is facing during this difficult time. The program has helped businesses stay focused, set clear priorities, gain new perspectives, new connections and more. Learn more and find the application form here.