Smooth launch for Maritime Bus company
The first day for the new Maritime Bus intercity transit service had buses rolling out across the Maritimes on Saturday.
Starting at the crack of dawn, the Charlottetown-based company's coaches began operating on routes in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I.
On Friday night, Acadian Bus Lines parked its fleet of buses permanently.
The new bus company has a new schedule that includes earlier departures. That's good news for Maritimers like Melissa McEwan, who feared the demise of Acadian Bus Lines would put the brakes on her ability to travel.
"Totally worried, because that's how I get around, that's how I get off the Island. I find I get a little stir crazy," McEwan said. "I can fall asleep on the bus and wake up and I'm ready to enjoy where I am."
John Steeves said he uses the bus a lot.
"The schedule's a lot better. Now there's two buses that leave here and usually there's only one, so it works out great for me," he said.
Mike Cassidy, owner of Maritime Bus, said the switchover in service caused no disruptions. Across the three provinces, people got where they needed to go, even if they had an Acadian bus ticket.
"I was glad that the new bus line was taking the old tickets because I didn't know where I was going to get a new one," passenger Sarah Joseph said.
Cassidy said Maritime Bus will honour Acadian tickets until the end of March. By then, sellers across the Maritimes should have all switched over to the new company's tickets.
McEwan said Saturday afternoon's bus from Moncton to Charlottetown was a comfortable, fast ride.
"We got here in really good time. The bus driver was fantastic, super friendly," McEwan said. "There were only a couple of us on the bus but it was a really smooth ride."