Municipal candidates arranging for voter transport to the October polls should consider the importance of transportation to their citizens and communities year-round.
“Providing transportation to voters is a traditional ingredient to Nova Scotia elections, but what about the rest of the year, when people need to get to school, work, or the grocery store?” says Kathryn Gamache, Chair of Community Transit-Nova Scotia. “Candidates running for office and voters fortunate enough to have a car should consider: what would not having their vehicle mean to them, their families, and their community?”
Transit in Communities: Making the Connection, a discussion document of the Provincial Community Transit Strategy project, in the past year a engaged the expertise and experiences of a 21-member provincial task force, more than 90 community groups and 1,300 individuals. The research showed that successful community transit offers short and long-term economic, financial, and social benefits to individuals and communities. Citizens in areas without transit services, however, reported lost income, isolation, and difficulty accessing essential services such as health appointments or employment. “A connected community is a healthy community where people want to live, work, and move to,” Gamache says. “We want that for all Nova Scotians.”
The discussion document determined that in Nova Scotia, successful community transit requires a four-way partnership: the three levels of government and the community including service providers, users and supporters. Community Transit-Nova Scotia this past summer received positive feedback on the document from John MacDonell, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations; Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Minister of Community Services and Charlie Parker, Minister of Energy, as well as the NDP and PC caucuses. A Liberal caucus presentation is pending.
“Municipalities are a key partner as well, and now is the time for municipal candidates and voters to plan for their community’s transit needs, whether new service development or support of existing services,” Gamache says. “Ensuring everyone has access to affordable transportation is of direct benefit to the individual, and of long-term benefit to the entire community. Our organization is ready to assist.”
Community Transit - Nova Scotia is a provincial non-profit organization with a vision for all Nova Scotians to have access to affordable transportation. The Provincial Community Transit Strategy was funded by the Nova Scotia Transportation Research Incentive Program (NS-TRIP), administered by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Copies of the discussion document and related summaries as well as further information on the Provincial Community Transit Strategy project and Community Transit – Nova Scotia is available at www.CommunityTransitNS.Ca.
Community Transit-Nova Scotia is a registered non-profit association with individual and group members from regions and sectors across Nova Scotia. Our collective membership offers passion and knowledge about community transit issues in Nova Scotia.
Community transit is: public, non-profit and/or private services developed in, by, and for a community for the safe and affordable transport of people in and between communities.
Our research shows:
Our discussion document Transit in Communities: Making the Connection proposes a four-way partnership for community transit growth: the three levels of government and the communities they serve, and a central point for community transit development in Nova Scotia. View the document and details at www.CommunityTransitNS.ca.