The community of Bridgewater will have access to better public transportation through a $350,000 investment from the province to purchase a new bus.
The new bus comes as a result of a successful 18-month public transportation pilot project that saw ridership grow from zero to 37,000.
“This pilot project in Bridgewater is proof of the positive impact that even a small transit system can have on a community and its residents,” said Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage Leo Glavine. “Access to public transportation is essential for connecting people to employment and important appointments and maintaining independence.”
The pilot began in September 2017 to better understand the demand for affordable, accessible and reliable transportation in Bridgewater.
“Bridgewater Transit has become a vital service for so many people in our community. The ridership and the way the service has been embraced by our residents and businesses has exceeded expectations,” said Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell. “The commitment the province has made today ensures that we will be able to continue to provide reliable transit service to all members of our community well into the future.”
“My mom is 88 years old, a senior, and she absolutely loves the bus system in Bridgewater,” said Tom Walker, son of Vallie Walker, Bridgewater Transit user. “She is able to meet 85 per cent of her travel needs via the bus. For her, it’s a way to have transportation freedom and to be able to afford it while at an age when freedom and change don’t come easily.”
Improving access to community transportation is a cornerstone of government’s Poverty Reduction Blueprint and is identified as a priority in SHIFT – Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population.
The Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage recently developed the Community Transportation Action Plan to help improve access to community transportation options within and between communities across the province.