Miramichi mayor opposes Acadian Lines bus cuts
Frustration is continuing to grow over a proposal by Acadian Bus Lines to cut a series of routes, including one into northern New Brunswick.
The company is applying to the Energy and Utilities Board, the province's regulator, to cancel the route between Miramichi and Fredericton, the one from Saint John to Bangor, Me. and reduce the number of daily trips between Fredericton and Rivière-du-Loup, Que., in order to cut costs.
Miramichi Mayor Gerry Cormier is speaking out against the potential loss of the Fredericton to Miramichi route because he said the service is a crucial link.
Cormier said people in his city are upset about the possibility that the route could be axed.
"They don't want to see the line cut, it's been here for years and they know that if we lose the line that we'll never get it back," Cormier said.
"It's very important that we keep that line open."
In documents submitted to the regulator, Acadian Bus Lines states declines in revenue and passenger traffic are hurting the company's bottom line.
The company states in the documents that it must make changes to stay on the road
The Energy and Utilities Board will hold a public session in Miramichi on March 15, St. Stephen on March 16 and Fredericton on March 17 to discuss the proposed cuts.
Acadian Lines is scheduled to go before the regulatory board with its application on March 17.
Acadian officials have said they want to focus on ramping up service between Halifax, Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton, increasing daily service between New Brunswick's three largest cities to four times a day.
Increasing the daily service among the province's largest cities isn't helping people such as Campbellton's Morgan Downs
Downs doesn't have a car and the train doesn't travel to the capital, so she said the bus is her only option to travel to Fredericton.
"I think it's disappointing because not everybody can afford a car, especially in this economy with gas prices," Downs said.
"So I think the bus really is a good means of transportation."
If Acadian is allowed to eliminate the Miramichi to Fredericton route, then passengers, such as Downs, would have to travel to Moncton first and then transfer to a bus heading to Fredericton, a move that would add hours onto their trips.
The bus company is not limiting its service that makes stops in Campbellton, Bathurst, Miramichi and Moncton.