Acadian Bus Lines announced on Tuesday Aug. 7 that it would cease operations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. by the end of November. The company claims it has been losing money on operations for several years.
Acadian – the only intercity coach line in the Maritimes – says it has lost $12 million since 2004. Acadian Lines needs to modify its services in order to survive, the biggest of which is to change some of their routes.
According to the current regulations, Acadian must provide service to certain areas; go to a certain amount of frequencies. David Gallant, vice president of Acadian Lines in the Maritimes, says some of those areas do not have enough ridership to support or warrant a bus service.
Gallant says the company has been asking the provincial governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to allow Acadian Lines to change their routes, but has had no luck.
The closure of Acadian Lines could have an effect on the local economy and culture. The Maritimes will be left with no real public transportation at all. Via Rail has already cut down half of its services and is talking about more cuts next year.
Buses regularly carry auto and machinery parts, personal packages, and life-and-death supplies, such as blood products bound for rural hospitals.
These cuts are going to be particularly hard for people who rely on buses to get to university, medical appointments and to visit friends and family.
The provincial government has no plans to set up a publicly funded bus system or to provide companies with subsidies.
About 120 people will lose their jobs in the closure.
The plan is to shut down all operations by Nov. 30, 2012.