Problems with Via Rail plan for the Maritimes

Via Rail's plan for the Maritimes is to cut
passenger trains and integrate with the
passenger bus service that is closing up shop.
What bus and rail services in N.B. and N.S.?

Via Rail President Marc Laliberte announced today (Aug. 29) that the company is looking to integrate bus and rail services in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick the Canadian Press reported.

There are a couple of problems with Via Rail's plan.  The Maritimes' bus service is slated to shut down and Via Rail is cutting half of its passenger trains. There's not much to integrate.

Via Rail is expected to make a similar "offer" to Southwestern Ontario mayors tomorrow Aug. 30, 2012.

Transport Action is fighting back. More dates for Town Halls about Via Rail in the Maritimes will soon be announced.

A mobility crisis in the Maritimes, Acadian Bus Lines, Via Rail  

"It costs more to fly from Halifax to Charlottetown than it does for Torontonians to fly to Prince Edward Island," Jane Taber reported for the Globe and Mail on Aug. 25. "And try flying from Saint John to Fredericton – the cost is astronomical for a trip that takes only an hour by road," the Globe and Mail reported.

"People may have little alternative by the end of November, when the region’s only large-scale bus service, Acadian Bus Lines, is set to close down after nearly 80 years, regulated out of business, it says, by at least two of the three Maritime provinces," the Globe and Mail reported,

A keen local observer says what is needed, in addition to the growing local rural transit systems, is:

1) The Ocean to run 7 days per week (and not less than the current 6 x per week)
2) Restoration of feeder services where rails still exist
3) Mainline line-haul bus service, scheduled to be integrated with rail
4) A secondary level of bus service that can effectively serve the outlying routes
5) Some agency to bring the stakeholders together to ensure that an integrated system results, and to oversee same.

Town Hall: September 8: Sarnia

A two-hour Sarnia National Dream Renewed workshop will be held on Saturday, September 8 at 10 a.m. at the Lambton Inn, which is located on the grounds of Lambton College at 1485 London Road.
Registration and more information

Town Hall: September 18: Stratford

Transport Action Canada will also conduct a town hall workshop on
Tuesday, September 18 in Stratford, Ontario

National Dream Renewed town halls will inform the public of the vast untapped economic, social and environmental potential of Canada’s national rail passenger service.  Canadians will be asked for their views on how VIA can be reformed to sustainably provide a high-quality, cost-effective service similar to that provided in every other industrialized nation.  The goal is to produce a blueprint for VIA’s revival and expansion based on the input of Canadians from Atlantic to Pacific to Hudson Bay.

The National Dream Renewed project is a joint initiative of Transport Action Canada and its five regional associations in Atlantic Canada, Québec (Transport 2000 Québec), Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia.  Transport Action Canada and its regional affiliates are non-profit organizations whose primary purpose is research, public education and consumer advocacy.  They promote environmentally-sound transportation solutions and get actively involved in a wide range of issues, such as public transportation, safety, accessibility, energy efficiency, environmental protection, intermodal co-operation and government regulation.


For more information, please contact:
Harry Gow    
(450) 787-3719 or (450) 743-4780 Ext. 223

Greg Gormick

Become a National Dream Renewed sponsor  

Your donation will help Transport Action take the workshops across the country and give all Canadians a voice in this latest attack on VIA. Your donation cheque for this important public education, consultation and outreach project should be marked National Dream Renewed and may be sent by mail to:

Transport Action Canada
Box 858, Station B  
Ottawa, Ontario  
K1P 5P9    

(Registered Charity 119268571RR0001)

Transport Action Atlantic
Box 268, Dartmouth, NS
B2Y 3Y3
Registered charity 131583999RR0001

You may also make your donation by Visa, MasterCard or via to  An official receipt for income tax purposes will be provided.