About 50 people gathered in front of Moncton City Hall Wednesday to speak out about cuts to train and bus service.

Via Rail is reducing service in Atlantic Canada at the end of the month and Acadian Bus Lines is shutting down at the end of November.

Many people, such as Universit√© de Moncton student Kate Farquharson, are worried there won't be any options left for people who depend on public transportation.  

Farquharson said many students are from the northern part of New Brunswick and they count on Via Rail for transportation.  

But with the number of runs being cut from six a week to three and the loss of bus service in the province, students won't be able to get home to see family and friends.

"It makes it almost impossible, which in fact determines that students will not be able to go home for small periods of time," Farquharson said. "They will have to make an effort to stay in the Moncton area compared to going home to visit." 

Patrick Murray, with the Canadian Auto Workers Union, agreed.  

"Public transportation is under attack, especially now with the closure of Acadian Bus Lines," he said. "We feel that Via Rail should be deemed an essential service, especially for the people up north who have no accessible service."  

The Utility and Review Board hearings into replacement inter-city bus service for the Maritimes began Tuesday.