Old Halifax buses help expand Cape Breton bus service

Strait Area Transit is having a growth spurt and is looking for help expanding

Strait Area transit gets a helping hand from capital city

Halifax Transit is donating buses to Strait Area Transit to help expand the bus service. (http://www.satbus.ca/)

Halifax Transit is donating three twelve-seat wheelchair accessible buses to Strait Area Transit to help the Cape Breton service expand. 

The Strait service runs routes through Inverness and Richmond counties, but wants to add a new Richmond run. 

Dwayne MacDonald, the general manager of Strait Area Transit, said Halifax Transit's planned donation means a lot, as the Strait service now has only two buses and five vans.  

"It's just such a huge gift. Metro Transit came through for us big time with this. And this is something we've been working on with them for nine months now," he said. 

"That's going to take the stress completely off our system here. We literally have two buses. We're having to cover the overage with vans, that means extra costs in driving time, in maintenance time, extra time in fuel costs."

MacDonald expects the buses will arrive in two to six weeks.

"If we have to take a vehicle in for cycle, we can put another one on the road without effecting the passengers or without effecting the service. It's just going to lighten our load in an incredible way."

Halifax updating its fleet

Tiffany Chase speaks for Halifax Regional Municipality, which runs Halifax Transit. She said Strait was looking for its out-of-service Access-A-Buses. 

"Those are the para-transit buses that we use that we no longer require, but could be fixed up and used by them," she said. 

Chase said some aspects of the deal still need to be worked out as Halifax Transit replaces some of its older buses. 

"We are in the process of looking at our fleet and determining the number of buses we could transfer to them for their use."

Strait Area Transit is a non-profit charity funded by the municipalities of Inverness and Richmond counties along with financial help from the province.

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