Transportation Stakeholders meeting held February 16 in Sydney was a great success!
The transportation stakeholders meeting was held yesterday in Sydney. Simply stated, it was a tremendous success. The forum was attended by business leaders, councillors, deputy mayor, education reps, TIR, Community Services, disabled reps, CBU students, NSCC students, and interested citizens. The event was highlighted by a panel discussion centering around heartfelt stories articulated by five people whose lives are inpacted by the need for affordable, accessible public transportation. One was a senior, one was visibly impaired, two were CBU students (one local and one foreign) and one who works in the area. I have attended numerous panel discussions, but very few have moved me the way this one did. It was a sentiment expressed by others in attendance as well. The prevailing attitude was – it we are to survive as a healthy community (fostering economic growth, reversing out-migration, keeping our youth at home, taking care of out elderly and those with medical concerns etc.) then providing public transportation is an absolute must. The CBU rep went so far as to state that it should be considered an essential service.
Following are a few telling remarks”
The Convergy’s (Glace Bay call centre) rep stated, “We employ 700 people but could add another 400 if we had suitable public transportation.”
The CBU foreign student stated, “I have had to move several times since coming to Cape Breton to accommodate my public transportation needs. I love Cape Breton and would love to move my wife and family to CB upon graduation, but I cannot afford a car and they would be stranded. I will be forced to go elsewhere.”
The local CBU student stated, “It is so difficult to get to my classes. It is frustrating. When I graduate, I will not be able to purchase a car and without convenient public transportation I will have to move away.”
Another person stated to me, “I was forced to call an ambulance to get to a medical appointment. When I got the bill I was shocked.”
So many stories!
I have also included a Facebook posting from one of our panelists.
By working together, this transportation dilemma can be solved, not only for the CBRM, but for the province in general.
On behalf of the CBRM Transportation Working Group, thank you for your interest and support.