New commuter transit ferry for Halifax Regional Municipality

The Nova Scotia government is investing more than $1.1 million in the initial planning phase for a commuter ferry that will travel from a new terminal in Bedford to Halifax’s downtown ferry terminal.

The province is partnering with the federal government and Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) for the study, which will include the concept design for the new terminal building, site access and site design. The federal contribution is more than $1.3 million and HRM is investing $917,000.

The $3.3 million study will also explore technology options for an electric ferry.

“This is an exciting project that will deliver a more convenient transit link for commuters and help Nova Scotia address climate change,” said Kelly Regan, Minister of Community Services, on behalf of Chuck Porter, Minister of Energy and Mines. “Transitioning away from diesel ferries is part of the electrification of public transit systems, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and will help us toward our target of cutting emissions to 53 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.”

The Bedford terminal will be a net-zero, energy efficient building.


The Mill Cove ferry route will connect communities across Halifax in ways we’ve been dreaming about for years. This planning project will set the foundation that will provide residents with a quick, safe and affordable transit option across the Bedford Basin straight into the Halifax core. It will transform the daily commute of thousands of Haligonians on their way to work, school, our local shops and back home – all while reducing congestion on our streets and lowering emissions. As we look toward recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, this project is an excellent example of leveraging infrastructure to build back better. – Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Getting moving on this long-anticipated ferry project will open up Halifax Harbour in new ways to more people, creating exciting opportunities for communities to connect while helping residents green their commute. – Mike Savage, mayor, Halifax Regional Municipality

As the municipality continues to grow, so does the need for a faster and better-connected transit network. Connecting Bedford to downtown Halifax by this new ferry route is an integral step that will improve transit services in an environmentally friendly way. – Dave Reage, executive director, Halifax Transit

Quick Facts:

  • the new ferry will be Nova Scotia’s first zero-emission ferry
  • the ferry will be added as a new transit route as part of routes offered by Halifax Transit
  • Phase 1 reports and a concept design of the new Bedford terminal, along with the retrofit design of the current Halifax terminal, are expected in early 2022
  • detailed design and construction will begin following Phase 1