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!”

Update on Rural Lynx project

Here’s the latest on the Rural Lynx project in Southwest New Brunswick. The following was published in the Telegraph Journal on Sept. 1, 2016:


Southwest transit authority optimistic following meeting

Derwin Gowan, Telegraph-Journal

ST. STEPHEN A meeting this week on funding for a proposed Charlotte County bus service went well, according to people who attended. However, the Southwest New Brunswick Transit Authority Inc. (SWNBTAI) still needs funding commitments by the end of the year to put the planned Rural Lynx service on the road, president Stan Choptiany wrote in an email after the meeting in Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames’ Charlotte-Campobello constituency office in St. Stephen.

SWNBTAI board members met with Ames and New Brunswick Southwest MP Karen Ludwig’s executive assistant Marlene Chase. Ludwig called him later, Choptiany wrote. The MP indicated “strong support” for Rural Lynx, he wrote.“She encouraged the Board to apply for stage two infrastructure funding. The deadline is the end of September. We discussed application strategies.”

The SWNBTAI grew out of the former Charlotte County Transportation Working Group which used funding from the provincial Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation and the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission to develop a business plan. Rural Lynx would make two round trips per day connecting Charlotte County communities with each other and with Saint John , aimed at people going to work, attending university and community college, medical and legal appointments and other business. The business plan projects that Rural Lynx would need an annual operating subsidy, as do other transit systems, starting at about $325,000 but dropping to $200,000 as ridership grows. Choptiany has argued that the province could fund this out of money it already spends, for example, on transportation for social assistance recipients attending medical appointments in Saint John .

Continue reading “Update on Rural Lynx project”

Charlotte County bus group continues push for bus funding

The Southwest New Brunswick Transit Authority Inc. is continuing to push for funding to run buses between St. Stephen and Saint John NB. The group continues to be concerned about the additional isolation of rural areas in Southwest New Brunswick as public transportation options have disappeared, and many public services have been centralized to Saint John.

In a CBC article, Board president Stan Choptiany is quoted as saying “Rural isolation is very real for us, and we believe we have a well-researched business plan that indicates that a transportation service would be efficient and would actually save the government money in the long run.”

Read the full article here:

TAA supports the groups’ initiatives, and hopes to see public funding come through!