Maritime Bus owner wins 2019 John Pearce Award

Mike Cassidy, president and owner of Maritime Bus, (left) accepts the John Pearce Award for 2019 from TAA president Ted Bartlett.

Transport Action Atlantic has selected Prince Edward Island entrepreneur Mike Cassidy as the winner of the 2019 John Pearce Award. The citation was created by the association two years ago to commemorate the lifetime achievements in public transportation advocacy by Mr. Pearce, a founding father of TAA’s predecessor Transport 2000 Atlantic, a past president, and long-time member of the board. John passed away in Dartmouth NS on June 6, 2019.

The award is given annually to recognize an outstanding contribution to the public transportation cause. This year’s selection committee chose to recognize Mr. Cassidy primarily for his determined efforts to rescue and maintain scheduled intercity motorcoach service in the Maritimes. In the fall of 2012, his company stepped in where others had failed, and is now in its seventh year of successful passenger and parcel operation from Halifax and Sydney NS to Rivierè-du-Loup QC, serving most towns and cities in the region on a daily basis and providing onward connections to Quebec and Ontario. The citation also noted his success in providing urban transit in Charlottetown PEI, and his ongoing advocacy seeking government support for a national bus network in Canada, following the failure of Greyhound West.

Province of NB announces funding for RuralLynx bus service!

From left: Mike Cassidy, president of Maritime Bus; Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet; Premier Brian Gallant; Stan Choptiany, Southwest New Brunswick Transit Authority president; Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames; and New Brunswick Southwest MP Karen Ludwig. (PHOTO – Transportation and Infrastructure, Office of the Premier, July 27, 2017 – St. Stephen)

After five years of hard work by the Southwest New Brunswick Transit Authority (SWNBTA), a twice daily bus service from southern Charlotte County to Saint John is finally posed to become a reality.  On Thursday, the province of New Brunswick announced a $500,000 investment to launch the proposed bus service as a 2-year pilot project.

Here is the press release from New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure:

ST. STEPHEN (GNB) – The provincial government is investing $500,000 to help provide affordable bus transportation through a community led pilot project in southwestern New Brunswick.

“Public transportation in our regions is important to the New Brunswick economy,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “It also helps improve New Brunswickers quality of life. This community led pilot project will help residents of Charlotte County and Saint John connect. It will also ensure southwestern New Brunswick businesses have the logistical support they need to get their products to markets.”

Funding will be provided to the Southwest New Brunswick Transit Authority Inc. to establish a two-year pilot project for bus transportation between communities in Charlotte County and the city of Saint John.

“It is tremendously rewarding to see the provincial financial support that is the result of our five-year, grassroots vision to establish an integrated transportation service for Charlotte County residents,” said transit authority president Stan Choptiany. “The entire board of the Southwest New Brunswick Transit Authority, and the public in general, are greatly looking forward to the Rural Lynx-Maritime Bus service commencing this fall.”

The project calls for Rural Lynx, in association with Maritime Bus, to provide twice-daily, seven-day-a-week passenger bus and parcel service between St. Stephen and Saint John, with proposed stops in Saint Andrews, St. George and Pennfield.

“With the province’s support and the will of the local communities, Maritime Bus is looking forward to travelling the roads of southwest New Brunswick and having its passenger and parcel freight network extend to St. Stephen,” said Maritime Bus president Mike Cassidy.

Continue reading “Province of NB announces funding for RuralLynx bus service!”

TAA hosts successful Nova Scotia members event

A group of people wait on a station platform as a teal VIA passenger train arrives
Attendees of TAA’s Nova Scotia Members Rendez-vous excursion wait on the platform in Truro as VIA #14 arrives. (Photo – Tim Hayman)

On Saturday, March 18th, TAA hosted the first of what we hope will be many events for our members. This event was targeted primarily towards our members in Nova Scotia, as we set out on an excursion from Halifax to Truro and back. At noon, seventeen TAA members (including our Vice President and several members of the board) gathered at the VIA Rail/Maritime Bus station in downtown Halifax and boarded Maritime Bus Route 103 to head to Truro. As we boarded the bus driver commented that this was an unusually busy trip for that time on a Saturday…we doubled what he guessed would be a “normal” load!

Despite running slightly behind schedule the bus trip was smooth and uneventful, with only two short stops in Dartmouth and at the airport. The chatter on board throughout the trip was full of discussion about public transportation locally and farther afield!

Upon arrival in Truro we made our way to the Engineroom Pub, where we enjoyed lunch before migrating over to the adjacent VIA Rail station. The waiting room was surprisingly busy – it seems we weren’t the only ones making the trip in to Halifax! Our wait in the station gave us a chance to talk a bit more about what TAA was up to, and provide an opportunity for members to provide feedback on what they thought we were doing well (or not so well), and what they’d like to see us do in the future. There were some excellent ideas floated during this chat. Continue reading “TAA hosts successful Nova Scotia members event”