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Mike Cassidy, owner of Trius Tours, says he believes his company can provide a self-sustaining Maritime bus service. (CBC)

The owner of a bus company hoping to offer a new Maritime service says he wants to work with Via Rail to create an integrated transit system for the area.

Mike Cassidy, owner of P.E.I.’s Trius Tours, said co-operation between different companies and modes of transportation will provide a better service to customers.  

Marc Laliberté, president of Via Rail, said he is looking for partners to develop a complete transit system in the Maritimes.

Cassidy said it’s good for businesses, too, as it could be a profitable model.

"I think it's wonderful that the president of Via Rail would come out to say that he'd like to work with industry providers and we would be very, very, interested in speaking with Via Rail," he said.

Acadian Lines dropping Maritimes

Acadian Lines is cutting its Maritimes bus routes in November. It said it could not make a profit. Nova Scotia's Ambassatours Grey Line had expressed interest, but backed out earlier this week.

Via Rail says it's open to discussions from any interested carrier. The rail company cut its Halifax-Montreal route in half this year, offering the service three days a week.

The potential partnership was welcome news for Steven Sutcliffe, a student at Mount Allison University. Sutcliffe often travels between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and said as long as the service is affordable, he'll use it.  

"I'm happy people are even talking about this. I would be at a loss without the bus and train," he said.