Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

James Joseph Rudolph, 1978

The Comparative Advantage of Alternative Modes of Transit in a Medium Sized Urban Area: A Case Study of Halifax, Nova Scotia


The automobile, bus and bicycle are three modes of transit available in Halifax. The latter two modes are the focus of this study, and inbound transportation times are considered for the morning peak only.

A brief discussion of urban transportation in a medium sized city such as Halifax is followed by explanation and analysis of the information gathered in field work and from documented sources. The object of the study then becomes the establishment of the comparative advantage of the modes analyzed. Time-distance information and results are presented in diagramatic form. This leads to a final map which illustrates the zones of comparative advantage the bicycle has over the bus.

Research findings indicate that the bicycle consumes less time than the bus for all parts of the study area apart from a relatively minute area around Scotia Square.

Time is only one of a number of costs to consider in the study of urban transportation. Recommendations for the implementation of new bicycle facilities are cautiously forecasted but further study on the matter is suggested.