Nova Scotia's Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Maurice Smith, is backing away from the suggestion the Dexter government might consider a provincially-owned bus service.

Earlier this month Acadian Coach Lines announced it was pulling out of the region as of Nov. 30 and the province is looking at options for what will follow the closure.

The idea of a Crown corporation was floated Thursday.

Smith then spoke with P.E.I. Transportation Minister Robert Vessey to discuss buses in the Maritimes.

The cash-strapped Island government says bussing should stay in the private sector.

"There's no appetite, I guess that's the right way to say it , for crown corporations certainly in Prince Edward Island as far as I know or in New Brunswick," Smith said.

"We don't exclude any possibilities, but already having said both Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick aren't interested, and that this is going to be a Maritime effort, I don't see us going alone on this kind of thing."

Smith said he's confident there will be inter-city service in the region by December.

Trius Tours in Charlottetown and Ambassatours in Halifax have both expressed interest in serving the region if provincial regulations were relaxed.

Acadian Lines has been turned down in its requests to drop some rural routes in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Its parent company, Orleans Express, has said it's lost $12 million over eight years.