nb-trius-tours

Coach Atlantic has been granted a licence to replace Acadian Lines, but still needs the New Brunswick EUB to approve its services. (CBC)

A public hearing on an application to operate a new bus service in New Brunswick will be held in Saint John on Wednesday.

Coach Atlantic is asking New Brunswick's Energy and Utilities Board to approve its proposed routes, rates and schedules in time to launch the intercity service across the Maritimes on Dec. 1.

The company has already been granted a licence to replace the existing Maritime bus service, Acadian Lines, which is folding its operations at the end of November.

But the EUB has not yet approved any of Coach Atlantic's routes or schedules, said spokesman David Young.

"People who have concerns or objections or support it will appear before the board," he said.

Glen Carr, the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1229, which represents Acadian Lines employees, said he plans to attend to ensure Coach Atlantic isn't granted any routes or services that Acadian was denied.

"It just seems funny that they drive one company out of business and the employees lose their jobs, yet they let another company come in," said Carr.

"That's the main issue."

Carr said if the EUB had been more flexible in allowing Acadian to cut service on less profitable routes, the company may have made more money and 100 employees might not have been out of work.

The new bus service will be called the Tri-Maritime Bus Network.

It is expected to offer passenger and parcel service within New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

About 70 jobs are expected to be created.