Consultation on transportation needs moves to next phase

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – On Wednesday night, Oct. 23, participants at a series of five community consultations in early Oct. are invited to a follow up meeting in Upper Big Tracadie to advance ideas for local transportation solutions.

As previously reported, a group called Common Good Solutions has been contracted by the provincial Dept. of Communities, Culture and Heritage to work with the community to identify local transportation needs, with an initial focus on the African Nova Scotian communities of Lincolnville, Sunnyville and Upper Big Tracadie.

Organizers were pleased by the turnout and engagement at the initial five meetings.

"Some people said they were hesitant to take part because this issue has been talked about so much in the past and promises were made but nothing happened," Robert Nichols, a consultant with Common Good Solutions told The Journal Tuesday. "But they came out because they were motivated by the need."

Guysborough County is one of only two areas in the province that does not have a public transportation system.

The initial community meetings took place in Upper Big Tracadie, Guysborough, Sunnyville, Mulgrave, Lincolnville.

The initial feedback gathered included discussion around the types of transportation needs local residents have, from medical needs to shopping, recreation and getting to appointments for employment or social services.

The consultants hope to get more feedback on early suggestions at this week's meeting. They want to now frame the parameters for what this kind of service would need to look like to meet local needs. They will invite those who are interested in working with them on the nuts and bolts of a plan to join that effort over the coming weeks.

"We're committed to following what the community tells us is needed and using that as the design for a solution," said Nichols. "The only solutions that have any hope of working are those that are designed by community members themselves."

Wednesday's meeting is planned for the Upper Big Tracadie Community Centre at 6:30 p.m. New participants are welcome and transportation assistance is available by calling 1-844-407-0822.