No intercity bus changes planned for New Brunswick
Province will not follow Nova Scotia's lead to reduce red tape
New Brunswick will not be following the lead of Nova Scotia in changing regulations for intercity bus service, provincial government officials say.
The Dexter government introduced a bill Friday that will give the minister of transportation the authority to make decisions on fares, schedules and routes, making it easier for companies to operate by reducing red tape.
Under the proposed change to the Motor Carrier Act, Maritime Bus Service, which is taking over intercity bus service across the Maritimes on Dec. 1, won't have to appear before the Utility and Review Board when applying for changes.
But New Brunswick does not have any plans to follow Nova Scotia's example, said Department of Transportation spokeswoman Judy Cole.
New Brunswick is not as heavily-regulated as Nova Scotia, she said in a statement.
Still, there is an ongoing review of New Brunswick's regulations on intercity bus scheduling and on opening up the industry to smaller operators who might be able to take over routes not served by Maritime Bus, Coles said.
Mike Cassidy, the president of the Maritime Bus Service, lobbied for the change in Nova Scotia. He said the legislation grants his company greater flexibility in setting the frequency of certain bus routes.
Cassidy plans to operate five bus runs from Halifax to Moncton, N.B., two more than what Acadian Bus Lines currently offers.
He hopes the service will carry 250,000 people each year in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Acadian Lines has said it lost millions of dollars providing service in the Maritimes and could not make a profit in the region.