New regional bus service end of the line for some drivers
Hugh Johnstone has been a bus driver with Acadian Lines for 32 years. He has yet to hear if he will be hired on by Maritime Bus.
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012 7:19PM AST
Acadian Lines is closing up shop Friday, but Island-based Maritime Bus will be taking over most Maritime runs starting Saturday.
It’s good news for passengers, but not for some Acadian Lines employees who will be out of a job.
Maritime Bus has hired a few employees from Acadian Lines, but many others, including Hugh Johnstone, are waiting by the phone.
“If I don’t get the call, I’ll put my name in other places,” says Johnstone, who has been driving an Acadian Lines bus for 32 years.
“I might draw unemployment if I can. A last resort is to sell my house and move back to Ontario.”
Mike Cassidy, the owner of Maritime Bus, says he has his own employees in place for Saturday, but will need to expand his workforce once the company is established.
“It’s going to be mid-December, January when my people will be doing staff interviews,” says Cassidy.
Union president Glenn Carr says Acadian Lines drivers know the runs and are specially trained to cope with Maritime weather.
He says they should be given special consideration for jobs with Maritime Bus.
Cassidy promises more runs between the region’s larger cities and towns, as well as better connections with Via Rail and Bay Ferries.
In Moncton, the train station will do double-duty as a bus terminal.
The bus will meet the train in Truro and Halifax as well, carrying both passengers and parcels.
Johnstone just hopes he will be driving one of those buses.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis