TAA mourns the passing of president emeritus John Pearce

John Pearce, May 7, 1934 – June 6, 2019

 

Transport Action Atlantic mourns the passing of its president emeritus. John Pearce was a tireless crusader for the cause of convenient, affordable and sustainable public transportation.

At age 85, John passed away peacefully in Dartmouth on June 6, 2019. He was born in Toronto to the late Perezel and Helen (Munro) Pearce. John obtained his Masters in Math and Physics at the University of Toronto on his path to becoming a Meteorologist. His career in which he served with distinction for many years would lead him to Nova Scotia. There he met his wife of 47 years at a Sports Car Club meeting.

John joined Transport 2000 Atlantic in the mid 1970s, served for many years as its president, and remained an active volunteer and board member as the organization rebranded itself as Transport Action Atlantic. His primary focus was always passenger rail, and until only a couple of years ago he could be frequently found in the Halifax VIA station, promoting the cause and chatting with passers-by and railway employees. His influence and contributions to the cause have been recognized by an annual award that TAA named in his honour.

The United Church was also a focus of John’s life and he was a fixture in the congregation and choir of St. Matthew’s for many decades. John is survived by sister, Judith (John); wife, Karen; sons, Ian (Maria) and Lorne (Laura); grandchildren, Stella and Owen.

Visitation will be held on Monday, June 10th from 2-4pm & 6-8pm in A. L. Mattatall Funeral Home, Dartmouth. Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, June 11th at 11am in St. Matthew’s United Church, Halifax. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Parkinson’s Society of Canada.

TAA Treasurer Don MacLeod presents the inaugural John Pearce Award, for outstanding public transportation advocacy, to John Pearce on November 18, 2017.

Spring-Summer Bulletin now available

“VIA Rail at 40: The good, the bad, and the ugly” – our feature coverage on VIA’s 40th anniversary is just one of many topics featured in this issue of The Bulletin

The Spring-Summer 2018 issue of The Bulletin, Transport Action Atlantic’s twice annual publication, is now available online. This issue’s feature coverage is VIA Rail’s 40th anniversary, a look at where the national passenger railway has ended up after four decades of service, and what the future might have in store. This issue also features additional rail news and commentary, updates on TAA’s advocacy work, marine and air news, transit and intercity bus updates, and much more!

Read on, here: Spring-Summer 2018 Bulletin

Remember, TAA members receive a hard copy of each Bulletin by mail and have the chance to read each issue before anyone else. You can read more about the benefits of membership, and even join today, here: Membership

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.”