Tantramar transportation pilot-2

EOS Eco-Energy in Sackville is hoping to pilot a shuttle service in 2014 that would provide transportation to Sackville, Moncton and Amherst. (EOS Eco-Energy)

A proposed shuttle service for the Tantramar region could mean regular transportation for small communities such as Dorchester, Memramcook and Port Elgin.

The service is being considered as a way to help connect residents to the larger centres of Moncton, Sackville and Amherst for medical appointments, groceries and other public services.

EOS Eco-Energy, a not-for-profit group in Sackville, is spearheading the pilot project.

Executive director Amanda Marlin says the shuttle is being targeted to people with lower incomes, seniors and people who want to lessen their impact on the environment.

"A lot of people talk about needing a shuttle so right now we're trying to pinpoint some routes and times that would serve the most number of people," Marlin said.

EOS Eco-Energy received $10,000 in funding for the proposed shuttle earlier this month. Half of the funding is from Economic and Social Inclusions Corporation, a Crown corporation in New Brunswick, while the other half is from Renaissance Sackville, a non-profit organization funded by the Town of Sackville. 

Marlin says the group is aiming for a trial run to start this winter, using an Eastlink charter bus.

"It's just to try and see, because we hear there's a lot of interest, but will that translate to people actually using it? That's why we want to try this pilot out and see how it'll go," Marlin said.

"If it goes well, then Eastlink can certainly continue offering rides to these groups. And if it doesn't, then we've learned."

Marlin says people in the Tantramar region can complete a survey on their transportation needs online at eosecoenergy.com until Jan 10.