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Acadian Lines is Shutting Down - And That's a Good Thing

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Tommy Douglas's CCF government set up the Saskatchewan Transportation Company in 1946. (Photo: SriMesh via Wikipedia)
Tommy Douglas's CCF government set up the Saskatchewan Transportation Company in 1946. (Photo: SriMesh via Wikipedia)


The Chronicle Herald reported today that the private bus service Acadian Lines will be shut down across the province by November 30th. The implications of this are severe as many Nova Scotians rely on the bus to travel between Nova Scotian towns.

That said, Acadian lines shutting down is good news!

I say this because Acadian Lines was providing poor service compared to what is possible in this province, and having them out of the picture creates a new opportunity for a province-wide transit strategy.

In Saskatchewan, Tommy Douglas' CCF government set up a provincial transit corporation back in the 1940s that provides excellent services. Progressive economists with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) have been calling for the same in Nova Scotia, and have done the research to determine the cost of starting the company up.

The Nova Scotia NDP has an excellent opportunity to solve this problem constructively, and should implement the CCPA's recommendations. People should contact New Democrat MLAs to encourage action. This is a prime moment to put public ownership on the provincial agenda and hopefully get a victory out of this.

After reading this, contact Maurice Smith, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. He can be reached at tirmin@gov.ns.ca or 424-5875.

The following is from page 73-74 of the Nova Scotia Alternative Budget, published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The Whole document is available here: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/nsab2012


Public Transportation

Transportation between rural and urban Nova Scotia is an important part of economic success and revitalizing rural communities, and economies. There are many models of public transportation around the world that Nova Scotia could draw on to explore how to innovative ways to provide vital linkages between communities. New technologies provide easier and faster ways of connecting people to ensure that we create sustainable transportation systems. As in the 2011 alternative budget, the NS Alternate Budget (NSAB) creates a new crown corporation, Transit Nova Scotia (TnS), which would have an initial mandate to provide inter-community bus transportation. Similar to what happened when Nova Scotia Power was created; the provincial government should assume control over all existing inter-community bus routes, including Kings County Transit and Acadian Lines.

Metro Transit and Transit Cape Breton should be left out of the equation as they operate in a single municipality and provide local transport, though TnS will need to enter into agreements with both municipal transit providers to connect CBRM and HRM to the new network of bus routes. TnS may also want to consider assuming responsibility for Metro Transit’s sub- urban routes connecting communities like Timberlea, Mount Uniacke, and Fall River to the urban core via routes arriving from rural areas.

Taking over Kings County Transit and Acadian Lines will provide TnS with the initial access to motor coaches, agents and experienced staff. The cost of these routes is impossible to predict. The Kings Transit Authority currently spends just over $500,000 per line (they operate 5 lines).[151] The Kings Transit Authority subsidies each route by about 60%. The cost of operating a provincial system would likely go down because of economies of scale and the introduction of higher traffic routes to the urban cen- tres. Based on these numbers and with about 20 routes, the total budget for TnS would be just above $10 million. At a provincial subsidy rate of 60% this would cost the province about $6 million per year. Some of this money would be set off by fees paid by the users of this new public transit.

The NSAB also recommends that any new services are affordable and accessible including (and especially) for people with disabilities. However, financial support (of $1 million) should also be targeted to the Community Transportation Assistance Program (CTAP). Launched in 2001 through Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations provincial office, the CTAP was to foster the growth and sustainability of community-based inclusive transportation services, which have grown from four to thirteen programs over that timeframe. Known as dial-a-ride or community-based transportation, the mission is to provide affordable and accessible transportation to rural Nova Scotians. This funding should be allocated as core-funding to cover the costs of key costs including program manager because current per-capita funding is not sufficient.

NSAB Actions

For 2012–13, the NSAB provides:

• An initial investment of $20 million in new spending to finance the creation of a provincial transit corporation, Transit Nova Scotia

• An annual subsidy of 25% to 60% of total operating costs — estimated at about $6 million until the service becomes established and fully accessible.

• Additional core funding to the Community Transportation Assistance Program for community-based inclusive transportation services: $1 million.

[151] Kings Transit Authority, Financial Statements, March 31, 2009.

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766 words


Students on board with this idea


You must be a complete idiot to think that the government should be involved in a provincial bus service. Your scocialist views are what is going to kill this province and country. What we need is a copany that make a profit running a bus service. If there is no profit to be made then there is no bus service. Simple. 

Government is not the answer to every single problem we have. We need less government not more. 

Give your head a shake!!



I agree

I would prefer if the money extorted from me by the government of NS was kept out of the business sector. If transit is a viable business, someone will step in and fill the void. If not, then why would I want tax dollars wasted on a business intentionally run at a loss?

More government and more centralized collectivism are not going to solve the worlds problems. I would suggest the opposite, the will be the vehicle of oppression and are currently the purveyors of the majority of the violence we see in the world.

For-profit system is what doesn't work

Lots of things are run 'at a loss' - education and health care, to name two. Intercity bus service is a necessity, not something that should run according to market demand. If seniors need to get from one rural community to another, it shouldn't be a matter of 'tough luck! it's not profitable'.



You won't find me claiming

You won't find me claiming that the Public Education system, nor the Public Health Care system, as it is currently instituted, are a positive for society.

I am torn on the health care issue, but I find when people are not responsible for their own well being, we end up with the society you see around us.  Sick and pumped full of pharmaceuticals.  You will find the big pharma lobby in every branch of government, working their patent magic.  Statistic for your concideration:  According the the American Medical Association, the #3 rated cause of death in the US is Doctors, whether that be properly or improperly prescribed meds, surgery, or bed sores.  Another point of contention is that I don't believe birthing a chilld in the place where we put all the sick people is a good thing, but in NS its manditory by law, a law I will break if ever I decide to have a child there.  Home, in a safe environment under the care of a trusted individual is what my child deserves and will get, regardless of the over reach of the government bureaucracy and its ill conceived notions of health and safety.

The schoolling system, as it is not education, aka indoctrination is a poor example of a system run at a loss.  There is no incoming funds, it makes no money on its own, it is a service that charges nothing but extorted tax dollars.  I'll educate my own chilldren, with the morals and ethics and skills I believe are necessary to function in the world.  I do not trust strangers with the most important function of a parent, the raising and educating of their own children.

I will not disagree that connections from one community to another are important and that the ability to be mobile especially in the elder years of life is important.  I will point out that communities themselves can offer solutions to these problems voluntarily.  My grand mother before she pasted away, and now my aunt after her, are volunteers to drive the elderly where they need to go, whether that be for health care or othewise.  Unfortunately the communities that have developed (willingly or through subversion) have created high minded individuals who believe it is not their 'job' to help others, for they can't afford it any longer, as all the extra wealth they have to offer has been striped away by the extortion of governments municipally, provincially and federally, eventially internationally if this carbon credit scam finds its way into law.  Allow those who create wealth to keep it, and you will find a much more giving community, willing to help others.

Regardless of what you believe to be the right thing to do, you want to, by threat of violence by government, extort weath created by individuals for the benefit of those who didn't create it.  If you believe stealing is wrong, then you have a serious contradiction within your own mind.  I suggest you use logic and reasoning to expell that contradiction and see what the world looks like afterwards.

Good day.


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