Covid-19 Route Update: Service Reductions in New Brunswick
For Immediate Release:
Maritime Bus Reducing Service within New Brunswick 2021
Maritime Bus recently celebrated its 8th Anniversary December 1st...certainly a milestone in our Region’s Intercity Bus world...however the Anniversary was marked with significant 2020 operating losses after the Company navigated through nine months of unprecedented COVID-19 travel challenges, while at the same time trying to stay true to its Founder’s belief of “our Region needs a Bus Service”.
From the start of COVID-19 March 2020, when over-the-road passenger travel demand was heavily impacted, Maritime Bus Founder Mike Cassidy’s passion for “public transit on provincial highways” had to be balanced with the financial resources available within his Company….balancing the COVID-19 reality of operating costs consistently higher than revenue generated....verses his ultimate desire of delivering a daily scheduled essential Bus Service for the Maritime Region.
As the 2020 Pandemic year progressed, with COVID-19 continuing to impact our personal and business lives, Maritime Bus losses accumulated to the point where Cassidy had to decide…
- Shut down and risk losing Intercity Busing forever...
- Protect the Region’s essential Bus Service by reaching out to the three Provincial Governments of PEI, NB and NS requesting all 3 Provinces co-share in a Grant Subsidy Support Program.
The Grant Subsidy Support Program Approval would allow Maritime Bus to be financially positioned to continue the COVID-19 level of essential bus service into 2021.
Unfortunately, upon receiving recent notice regarding New Brunswick’s current policy of not providing grant subsidies to “for-profit companies”, Maritime Bus is forced to amend its schedule. Without New Brunswick’s participation in the Grant Subsidy Support Program the Company is forced to minimize operating costs by reducing the kilometers travelled within the Province of New Brunswick.
Now that we have this position from the NB Government, we have no other choice, during this State of Emergency Covid-19 Pandemic, to reduce kilometers driven in New Brunswick.
Effective Midnight on Friday, January 15th, 2021:
- Service between Campbellton and Moncton: Halted
- Service between Fredericton and Edmundston: Halted
- Service between Fredericton and Saint John: Modified
- Service between Fredericton and Moncton: Modified
- Service plans to connect the Maritime Region through to Quebec and Ontario: Postponed
Fredericton, Saint John & Moncton through to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia service will be maintained.
The easiest decision is to walk away from this marginal but essential business of providing passenger and parcel service within our Maritime communities. If we recall, it was 8 years ago when Orleans Express Acadian Lines abandoned the Maritime Intercity Bus Service blaming lack of profitability for their departure. However, Cassidy has no desire to discard what he and his employees have proudly built and sustained since 2012 without any form of Government Assistance.
“I want to take the high road by staying in business and keeping a base of Bus Service for our Region until we are back to the new normal of people travelling again sometime this year” says Cassidy “when certain stakeholders and political decision makers are in a better place and a better frame of mind to make impactful social community decisions…it goes without saying Maritime Bus optimistically hopes public bus transportation will be a key strategic component in future community connectivity discussions.”