Local transportation needs focus of community consultation

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – Community consultation meetings taking place this week will help identify the transportation needs of local residents. 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.

"We are open to developing a solution that could work for other areas too," says Robert Nichols, a consultant with Common Good Solutions. "It's just that the starting point is those communities."

In an interview with The Journal Monday, he said the geographic make-up across Guysborough County is similar so if there is a model that works in one area, "we might find it works in other areas as well."

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

Community meetings were scheduled for Oct. 1 in Upper Big Tracadie, Oct. 2 in Guysborough and Sunnyville, and Oct. 3 in Mulgrave and Lincolnville.

"We really want to build the solution with the community," said Nichols. "The people who know what (a transportation system) should look like are the people who are going to use it."

This first phase is about gathering information. He said attendees will be invited to meet again in about a month to help design a solution that could work for the local area.

"The idea is to move towards building a business model that will work for the service."

Common Good Solutions has been involved in other transit projects in the province, including the expansion of Strait Area Transit into Victoria county.