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May 26, 2012:

May 26, 2012:


            I was waken up at 7:08 am by a phone call. I don't think it was my wake-up call because I went back to sleep and got my wake-up call at 7:30 am. I got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast. After breakfast, I walked over to the bus stop and caught a bus to the Bridge Terminal. While I was at the Bridge terminal, I photographed the new Bridge Terminal which is well under construction and supposed to open in July.



            I waited for the 52 to Mumford Terminal. It soon arrived and I rode there and got off. I had more than an hour to kill before the charter, but it's better to be early than late. I walked over to a nearby Wal-Mart and went inside. I eventually bought a t-shirt before I returned to the transit terminal.


            Other people attending the charter started arriving. The night before I heard a few Classics might be out on the 20. It turned out to be true as I saw and photographed three MCI Classics on the route 20.





            I also filmed them pulling away. Someone pointed to where a bus had mounted the curve and struck a couple newspaper boxes. I took some photos of that.



            Someone commented that this was “CSI Mumford”! I photographed a Nova LFS articulated that arrived at the terminal.



            I heard Doug Shields say that Metro Transit doesn't consider their First gen Nova LFSes as accessible buses. This is because their wheelchair ramps don't work and they hardly worked when they were new! However, I shouldn't be so surprised considering the First Gen Nova LFSes have been problematic in other cities as well.


            Our charter bus showed up. We had articulated Classic #709. We photographed it before we got on.




            I was one of the first people to board. I saw in the seats in the articulation joint. There were about 25 people on the bus. As far as I know, the furthest someone came for this charter was from Vancouver. However in 2009, on a charter in Toronto, a couple people came over from England and one person had even flown from Australia to attend the bus charter in Toronto!


            The bus soon departed Mumford terminal. We passed a cemetery that had some victims from the Titanic disaster buried. However, there's another cemetery in Halifax where more Titanic victims are buried.


            Our first photo stop was by a traffic circle that Mike and I had passed through the day before after we saw the Ocean. We took some photos.





            Our next photo stop was by a hospital next to a cemetery along Metro Transit's route 84. However, I don't think there are any Titanic victims buried there.




            We left and soon passed over the bridge I had filmed the outbound Ocean the day before and that Mike and I had visited later that day. We then stopped at a loop used by Metro Transit route 9 for the next photo stop.



            The bus was moved to by a stop sign. I took some more photographs.





            We got back on the bus and left. We drove near the VIA station where I photographed the Ocean from the bus.




            We then stopped by pier 22 for the next photo stop. The bus was signed up for the Free Rides Everywhere Downtown {FRED} shuttle which was discontinued a few years ago. If you read my 2009 report, I had photographed a D40LF on the FRED shuttle.





            709 was moved and then I filmed the bus moving. We then got back on and then we headed off to the current Bridge Terminal where we photographed 709 and other buses that came. One of the other buses was Nova LFS articulated #717, the first LFS articulated bought by Metro Transit.





            709 had to be moved to let some buses leave. I took some more photos.




            We got back on the bus and headed off. Our next stop was the Woodside Ferry terminal. This would be our lunch stop. We were told that there was an A&W, a Tim Horton’s, and a fish and chips restaurant. However, when I got off, I saw there was a Subway restaurant as well. We got off the bus and I photographed it.



            I opted to go to Subway, but I saw there was an Arby's a little further so I decided to go there. I walked over and bought lunch to go. I then walked back to the bus which had been moved I photographed 709.




            There were other people photographing 709. One of them asked where Arby's was. I told him. I then got back on the bus.  The driver of our charter bus asked if any of us were bus drivers. She was told some of the transit fans on the charter are bus drivers. Everyone else soon got back on 709 and we headed off and got on the highway. Our next stop was the Metro Transit bus garage in Dartmouth near the hotel I stayed at the last time I was in Halifax. The first thing I noticed was D30LF #507. I didn't even know Metro Transit had D30LFs. I photographed it and other buses in the area. One of them was Classic 959 from the night before. I noticed the window on the left hand side of the bus was broken. The cursing passenger from the night before was seated not to far from that window, though it wasn't broken when I got off the bus.






            I went inside D30LF #507 and photographed the interior. Our charter driver started the bus up and repositioned it. Even though it was a short ride, it was still my first ride on a D30LF. I took twos more photographs of 507 after I got off.




            We then walked alongside a line up of Classics including the oldest Classics which are presently in service. One of which is the oldest; #934. We took some photos.






            We then got to the back of the garage where some of us photographed retired Classic #939.



            Mario who is from Montreal and I had seen on previous charters commented that the seats in the oldest Classics were just like in Montreal. I had asked Kevin if the low 900s were purchased second-hand, but he told me that all of Halifax's Classics were bought new.


            We took some more photos as we headed to our bus. I photographed Link bus #608 both inside and out. Of the three times I've visited Halifax, I've never ridden a Link bus.



            I then took some more pictures of other buses in the garage as we made our way back to 709.





            We took a few more pictures of 709 before we got back on.






            We then hit the highway. I did a ride video while we were on the highway. Our next photo stop was at Metro Transit's Cobequid terminal. Don't ask me how to pronounce Cobequid because I don't know! We took some photos.




            Two women asked why we were taking pictures of the bus. They had said they had never seen it and wondered if it was new. We told them we were photographing the bus because we like buses and I added that it's like how some people photograph birds because they like birds. They were okay with that as they headed into a hair salon next door to the terminal. I am not being sexist; they really did go to a hair salon!


            We then got back on the bus and headed off. We passed a Classic in service on route 80. As we drove along, Kevin Nicol pointed out a restaurant called Chicken Burger which had been in Halifax for a very long time. Kevin even said that when his parents were dating, they ate at that very restaurant. Our next photo stop was by a rocky area in Bedford which many of us used to take aerial photos of 709.



            We got back on 709 and headed off. We passed by the area where I had filmed the inbound Ocean the night before. We passed the CN yard where I saw the CN SD70i from the day before and I could even see my friend Mike's truck in the lot! Our next photo stop was where Metro Transit routes 3 and 7 turn around. We took some photos






            Our next stop was by that traffic circle we passed just before our first photo stop. We were let off so we could film the bus as it did two loops in the traffic circle. Before the bus entered the traffic circle, I photographed it.




            I filmed the bus going around the circle before I took one more photo after the bus exited the traffic circle.



            We got back on the bus and headed out. Our next photo stop was Metro Transit's new Ragged Lake garage. This was where my friend Mike and I had come by the evening before. We pulled inside. We got off and photographed other buses in the garage.











            We then went outside and photographed a brand new Metro X bus for the service to the airport starting May 31st.



            #709 was moved outside and I took some more photos of it.




            We got back on 709 and went to another part of the garage where some buses were parked outside. We also posed 709 with a DE60LFr and a Nova LFS Articulated.














            We also had our group photo taken in front of 709 here.



            We then went inside the maintenance building where we saw LFS #988 having been retired due to an engine fire and retired Classic articulated #707. There were two other articulated Classics in the garage as well, but they weren't retired yet.









            We went to another area of the garage and photographed some Nova Classics including one on a hoist.






            We made our way back towards #709, but I took a couple more photographs of the retired 707 and 988.





            We also saw Classic #982 come in to where buses get fuelled and washed. I photographed 982.



            I took one more photograph of the three models of articulated buses before I got back on 709.



            Everyone got on 709 and we left. The charter was over as we went to Mumford terminal by way of the traffic circle. I photographed 709 after we got back.




            I also photographed Classic #960 at the terminal in service on route 20.




            I waited for 709 to leave. When it left, I filmed it pulling away. I then caught a route 52 because I wanted to see the Titanic graves at Fairview Cemetery. I got off one stop too early and I had to ask directions, but I eventually found the cemetery. Along the way to the Titanic graves, I photographed some CN locomotives in a nearby yard.




            I got to the Titanic graves and photographed them.








No, this is not the grave of Jack Dawson from James Cameron’s Titanic! The “J” stands for Joseph.




            I talked with two women who were also visiting the graves. They pointed out the graves were in the shape of a boat. I didn't notice until they pointed it out. I then caught a bus downtown. I decided to ride a couple Classics. I got off the bus across from the public gardens and the Lord Nelson hotel. It made me think of a story from the CBC show “The Vinyl Cafe” where the main character, a clumsy man named Dave thought his wedding ring had been swallowed by a duck in the Public Gardens. Dave was staying at the Lord Nelson hotel as in the story, his aunt had suffered a stroke and he was visiting her in the hospital.


            Classic #951 showed up on route 80 and I photographed it before I got on. I rode a few blocks before I got off and photographed 951. I then filmed it pulling away.



            I then wandered up the street a couple blocks before I saw another Classic. It was #948; the oldest 40 foot Classic in service. I photographed it before I got on.



            The driver could tell I was a railfan because of my VIA hat. He could tell I was a bus fan as well because I was photographing buses! We talked a bit about trains and buses. At one point, he said he knew about our charter and wished he could have been our driver. I told him about my site and my previous trip. He was on my side about me standing up for my rights against the TTC driver and was amazed by the similarities between the November 4th incident involving me and the driver of TTC 2855 and Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat to a white person. I then got off and photographed 948 and filmed it pulling away.



            I then made my way to the Halifax ferry terminal. I boarded a ferry to Dartmouth. After the ferry docked in Dartmouth, I got off and photographed it.



            I returned to my hotel and went online and worked on this report some more. I eventually went out for dinner. I caught a bus to the Bridge Terminal where I initially walked to a nearby Subway restaurant, but found it was closing. I ended up walking to the Taco Bell where I had dinner on my first night in Halifax. I donated some money into a box for charity and held the fridge door open while an employee at Taco Bell stocked it with a cart of 2 Litre pop bottles while waiting for my dinner. I then headed back to my hotel. After I got off the bus, I was about to head to my hotel when I heard a locomotive bell. I sprinted to the nearby crossing and photographed the CN switch job as it came through with a long string of autoracks.




            I then returned to my hotel and went online some more and worked on this report before I called it a night.


Click here for my ride home on VIA's Ocean:       Halifax charter trip end