Nova Scotia

Strait Area bus service still stuck in neutral

Bus service in the Strait Area will not resume, at least not for now.

Strait Area Transit bus service is still not running despite recent meeting

Strait Area Transit met with municipal and provincial leaders to see if the bus service can come up with enough money to restart its operations. (Facebook)

A bus service in Cape Breton will not resume, at least not for now.

The Strait Area bus service shut down two weeks ago because it didn't have enough money to stay in operation.

The non-profit charitable organization is made up of a volunteer board of directors along with numerous financial partners and sponsoring organizations.

Representatives from Richmond and Inverness County, Port Hawkesbury and the province met with Strait Area Transit to go over the finances involved with keeping the service running.

The Richmond County warden Steve Sampson said it's a $30,000 commitment to keep the service.

He said he thinks the agencies whose clients use the service should also kick in some funding.

"You think of the Department of Community Services, the Department of Education and Strait Regional School Board and advanced education, people that are going to the nautical institute. There [are] many, many government departments that have a key role to play," said Sampson.

Brenda Chisholm Beaton, the deputy mayor of Port Hawkesbury, said they had an in-depth look at the financial situation facing the bus service.

"It was definitely an open and honest discussion you know with the province and with the municipalities and with Strait Area Transit. We thought it was productive but there are certain steps that we have to take before we can come to the table again so we can all be on the same page."

Beaton said everyone is committed to finding a way to keep the bus service going.

"We would like to see a Strait Area Transit that is more financially stable and I think we are going to go forward with that premise to see what kind of solutions we can all come up with together."

She said councils have to be consulted before any financial commitments can be made.

One suggestion coming from the meeting is to conduct a feasibility study is to find ways of improving the service and increasing ridership.

The group will meet again in about two weeks.