Guysborough County may get transit service by fall
Senior provincial government official says operator may have been found
People who live in one of the province's largest counties may soon be getting a service most Nova Scotians take for granted — public transit.
Although there are 19 community transit providers across Nova Scotia, there is no service available in any of the communities in Guysborough County.
Greg Sewell, director of community transportation at the Department of Transportation and Active Transit, told a legislature committee Tuesday that after years of talk and planning, the province may have found an operator willing to give it a go.
"We do believe that we've identified somebody that will start in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, in the town of Mulgrave, with a vision that over due course it will expand into Municipality of St. Marys," said Sewell.
"I do have plans to visit with the municipal councils in late May and early June to talk about our progress to date."
Sewell said the project had been delayed by the search for an operator and more recently by the pandemic, but that he hoped service could start by fall.
"Most of the organizations are experiencing delays in getting vehicles, so that will be the biggest challenge to move forward," he told CBC News following the committee meeting.
The provincial government is not directly involved in community transit but it does offer grants to providers and works with communities that want to establish services in their area.
The province recently announced funding for a new service in the Cape Breton community of Eskasoni. It will be the first Indigenous community in Nova Scotia to have its own transit service.
The Nova Scotia government is also looking forward to new fixed route services starting in New Glasgow and Stellarton, in Pictou County.
Other municipalities that have expressed an interest in public transit in their communities include Mahone Bay and Lunenburg.