Transit advocate wins 2018 John Pearce Award

Michael Perry presents the 2018 John Pearce Award to Stan Choptiany.
South West New Brunswick Transit Authority chair Stan Choptiany of St. Andrews NB (at right) receives the 2018 John Pearce Award from Michael Perry, a long-time member of Transport Action Atlantic’s board of directors. This year’s outstanding public transportation advocacy award recognizes Mr. Choptiany’s leadership in returning daily bus service to rural Charlotte County.

The chair of the South West New Brunswick Transit Authority is the 2018 winner of Transport Action Atlantic’s John Pearce Award, recognizing outstanding contribution to public transportation advocacy in the region.  Stan Choptiany was honoured at TAA’s annual general meeting, held in Moncton on May 5.

The former mayor of St. Andrews was cited as someone who initially saw the need, was instrumental in establishing the transit authority, and then worked diligently as its chair, guiding it through the labyrinth of government funding sources while tirelessly maintaining contact with potential riders.

“Stan has clearly demonstrated his belief in rural public transit as an essential public service,” said Michael Perry, a long-time member of TAA’s board of directors who presented the award on behalf of the advocacy group.

“During his term as mayor, Stan came to the realization that a growing number of his constituents were prevented from full participation in the resources and benefits of both society and the economy because they lacked the freedom to readily access transportation. These included a broad demographic: seniors no longer wishing to drive, young people, particularly of college student age, people with disabilities, newly-arrived immigrants, and those unable to drive or whose financial situation precluded the purchase of a car. Their growing isolation from a society where mobility is a necessity became an increasing cause of concern, which resulted in many being unable to access timely health care, employment, and post-secondary education.”

The John Pearce Award was created to honour Transport Action Atlantic’s president emeritus, who retired last year from active participation after 40 years of dedicated public transportation advocacy.  It is awarded annually to an individual or group to recognize an outstanding contribution, consistent with Mr. Pearce’s life-long passion.

“Stan Choptiany’s ‘never-say-die’ leadership ultimately achieved the return of daily bus service linking rural communities in Charlotte County with Saint John,” says TAA president Ted Bartlett.  “Without his tireless efforts, last September’s start-up of RuralLynx almost certainly would not have happened.  We thank him for his contribution, and will continue to support his efforts to make this service a success, and a model for transit in other rural areas of Canada.”

TAA 2018 AGM – this Saturday!

Transport Action Atlantic’s Annual General Meeting will be held in Moncton, New Brunswick, this coming Saturday. All are welcome to attend!The Transport Action Atlantic logo, a green maple leaf with a right facing arrow

Saturday, May 5 at 2:00 p.m

CN Pensioners Centre

1 Curry Street

(off Donald Avenue)

Moncton NB

This year’s feature will be an engaging presentation – Why Canada Needs Passenger Trains  –  A serious message, with a touch of humour, from our keynote speaker Marshall Button. 

Marshall Button
Marshall Button – Actor, Host, Playwright, Director, artist-in-residence at the Capitol Theatre. Creator of Lucien, NB’s Blue-Collar Philosopher–and full of opinions! (as described in his Twitter bio)

Further, in addition to the usual business agenda and opportunity to discuss ongoing transportation issues in the region, we will also be presenting the John Pearce Award to its second recipient, an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to public transportation advocacy in Atlantic Canada.

We hope to see you there, and look forward to hearing your thoughts!  As always, our AGM is open to the general public and the media.

From surfaces to services

New Brunswick releases report and recommendations on inclusive and sustainable transportation

 – by Yves Bourgeois

               “A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transport.”

– Enrique Penalosa, former Mayor of Bogota

Yves Bourgeois stands in front of the iconic former Canadian Pacific station at McAdam, where New Brunswick’s report on sustainable and inclusive transportation was released on 11 December 2017.

New Brunswick citizens and policymakers need to pivot their thinking significantly from surfaces to services, putting “access” first and ratcheting up shared transportation services investments in balance with physical transportation infrastructure.   This fundamental shift from roads and highways is crucial if the province hopes not only to reduce poverty, but also to improve population growth, physical health, job creation and the environment.  This is the overarching theme of the report and recommendations on inclusive and sustainable mobility released on 11 December 2017 by the New Brunswick advisory committee on Rural and urban transportation (RUTAC) struck by New Brunswick Government’s Economic and social inclusion corporation (ESIC). http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/esic/news/news_release.2017.12.1583.html

Continue reading “From surfaces to services”