BayRides, a transit service in the St. Margarets Bay area of Halifax Regional Municipality, is receiving $48,095 to continue helping rural residents get around.
The service provides door-to-door transportation to places users need to reach.
“Many rural communities in Nova Scotia are finding creative solutions to provide public transit,” said Timberlea-Prospect MLA Iain Rankin, on behalf of Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill. “Through our funding programs, we help make these transit services accessible, affordable, and able to meet the needs of citizens.”
BayRides provides service to anyone in the area. The bus has room for eight passengers and two wheelchairs, and a van that seats five passengers and one wheelchair. Volunteer drivers also provide service using their own vehicles.
“The BayRides dispatcher is always so kind and friendly, understanding my unique needs and trying their best to meet them,” said Boutiliers Point resident Cora DeHaven. “The drivers are always making you smile, making you forget you’re with a service. You feel like you are just out with a friend getting errands done.”
The service was established in September 2015 by the St. Margaret’s Bay Community Transportation Society.
“There are many people in the bay area who do not have access to an automobile and have difficulty getting to important functions,” said Rod Shaw, one of the founders of the service. “With support from the province, BayRides has been in full operation for about a year to meet this need and we’ve been heavily used by all age groups.”
The funding is through the Community Transportation Assistance Program. It helps cover operating costs for non-profit community organizations that improve transportation services for disabled, elderly and low-income Nova Scotians. There are currently 16 transportation services receiving nearly $1.2 million.
BayRides previously received provincial funding to develop the transit service and purchase a van.