A New Brunswick community activist is calling for public transit to be extended to other municipalities around the province.
Charlottetown-based Maritime Bus began operating major routes on Dec. 1 in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
The service is replacing Acadian Lines that parked its fleet on Friday night.
While the new bus service is just starting out, Larry Lack, a St. Andrews resident, said legislators need to start talking about service to the whole province.
Southwest New Brunswick lost its Acadian Lines service over a year ago and he said communities need access to transit options.
"At least the minimal level of service, if you want to call it that, that Acadian [Lines] was giving us. It wasn't very good service, but at least you could get here," he said
Lack said Charlotte County needs a bus service to support local businesses, the community college, and people who have to travel for medical appointments.
He said the provincial government could extend bus service to much of the province for the cost of twinning a single kilometre of highway.
"We want them to stand up for a solution that includes the whole province, that includes us and the other towns a lot of which are in the northern part of the province," Lack said.
'Champions' needed says bus owner
Mike Cassidy, the owner of Maritime Bus, said his company may expand into Charlotte County or to the northeast region of the province.
But Cassidy said he will need to see a lot of community support before he takes the business risk.
"You need that champion, I call it, or champion or two to drive the initiative," he said.
Cassidy said he would need help from groups, such as local chambers of commerce, and business owners to ensure the company's parcel delivery service is used.
The provincial government promised to make changes to the regulatory regime for public motor carriers in the next year.
The throne speech said amendments would "help ensure an appropriate framework exists that balances the economic competitiveness of the intercity bus industry with the needs of the travelling public."
New Brunswick's regulatory regime for motor carriers was put in place in 1937. At the time, the law was designed to ensure bus service to remote communities by restricting competitors from coming into New Brunswick and poaching the best routes.