Government is investing in Cape Breton Regional Municipality’s (CBRM)community transit system to help ensure more people have access to affordable, accessible and reliable community transportation.
Municipal Affairs Minister Derek Mombourquette, on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine, announced today, March 5, an investment of $500,000 for a Transit Cape Breton pilot project.
It is part of government’s $20 million commitment towards poverty reduction. Improving access to community transportation is a cornerstone of government’s Poverty Reduction Blueprint and is identified as a priority in SHIFT – Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population.
“We are working with our partners to help reduce barriers to ensure more people have accessible, affordable and reliable transportation. This is critical to ensure our communities remain strong, connected and vibrant,” said Mr. Mombourquette.
“Whether it is older adults, our most vulnerable citizens, or international students, we need to provide a community transportation system that helps them remain in their homes, stay connected to their jobs or university and provides better access to important services such as health.”
The pilot is designed to create transit opportunities that do not exist and improve growth and development of community transportation.
The investment is for two years and will include:
— a pilot study for Sunday service in certain areas
— new scheduling and increased frequency of service
— improvement to routes, including additional service to Cape Breton University
— bus tracking technology and improved signs
“Strengthening community transportation is truly a strategic investment in the economic and social development of the community and this pilot is very encouraging,” said Eric Leviten-Reid, chair, of the CBRM community transportation working group.
“Over the last three years, we have consulted widely with residents and come to appreciate how access to transportation affects all aspects of people’s lives – getting to work, accessing basic needs like groceries and health services, obtaining education, participating in the social and recreational life of the community.”
The municipality has identified community geography, demographics and economic conditions as major factors impacting the transit service and limiting growth.
As part of the Culture Action Plan’s mandate to strengthen communities, the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage is developing a plan to improve access to community transportation across the province with a focus on rural communities and older Nova Scotians.