Decorative chevron

Halifax: Case for a commuter rail saved millions of dollars

Project image

Halifax Regional Municipality confidently reviewed its options for a commuter rail project based on feasibility study and clear costs.

The challenge

The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) wanted to know if a commuter rail service would be a viable alternative to road transport.

So the municipality hired CPCS to find out.

“Market and financial uncertainty are some of the factors to consider” says George Kaulbeck, railway expert at CPCS. “For a municipal project like this one, the real question is whether economic and financial benefits will exceed costs.”

What we did  

How CPCS led the commuter rail feasibility study:

  • Market analysis to establish demands for the service
  • Financial, regulatory and organizational analysis to determine costs associated with building, implementing, operating and maintaining the service
  • Public information session to present findings to citizens and municipal officials

CPCS relied extensively on documentation review, data analysis and mapping (GIS) to support its findings. 


“The numbers quickly showed us what the story was,” adds George. “We concluded that the commuter rail service wouldn’t be viable and would be a loss for the municipality.”

As a result of this study, the Halifax Regional Council chose not to move forward with the project.

Related news:

Plans for commuter rail aimed at improving transportation in Halifax area derailed