Students and businesses react to Acadian Bus Lines closure
Published Thursday, August 9, 2012 7:30PM ADT
Last Updated Thursday, August 9, 2012 7:38PM ADT
Students, seniors and businesses who depend on Acadian Coach Lines are scrambling to figure out how they will deal with the closure of the inter-provincial bus service.
Robert Ballard owns a comic book and video game store in Moncton and relies on the service.
“We use Acadian Lines and have used Acadian Lines for the past number of years for some intercompany mail, paperwork and whatnot,” says Ballard.
The parent company of Acadian Lines, Quebec’s Groupe Orleans Express, announced Tuesday its Maritime bus service would come to a halt at the end of November.
A company spokesperson tells CTV News that while the company is open to talking, nothing it has heard so far will change that outcome.
The University of Moncton Student Association President Joëlle Martinhopes any future talks will keep the wheels rolling.
“It is just another stress on students,” says Martin. “How can I get home for the weekend or how can I go back to see my family?”
The closure will also have an impact on the artistic community. Hip hop artist Jonathan Vautour says musicians rely on the service to transport their bulky gear.
“Take your instruments, your equipment and actually transport that to other venues and local places and shows, it is near impossible,” says Vautour.
New Brunswick Premier David Alward feels there are options.
“We’re looking at what we can do as a province to ensure that the regulator system is in place that will work,” says Alward,
The Opposition Liberals say other provincial models, such as a Crown corporation, should be considered.
“We need to make sure that small businesses have that ability in the future to transport goods and services throughout New Brunswick, says Moncton East Liberal MLA Chris Collins.
A lockout in December left many Maritimers without bus service, and it’s an experience many students and businesses say they would rather not repeat.
With files from CTV’s David Bell