What is the Network?

The Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network (NSCTN) is a non-profit advocate for accessible transportation in Nova Scotia. We act as a central spot where transportation providers and supporters can gather to share information, build the network, and help government enact policies that support growth.

It has been a long road from 1996 to now. In our first year, two community transportation providers—Transport de Clare and CHAD—hit the road. They were fledgling organizations that worked on a wing and prayer, meeting the needs of people living with disabilities in Clare and Pictou Counties.

By 2000 that number had grown to eight. It became apparent that there was a need for a network—a single voice for the issues around accessible transportation. In October 2000, approximately 120 stakeholders representing over 50 organizations met. The result was the Nova Scotia Community-based Transportation Association (NS-CBTA), which included service providers and advocates for persons with a transportation disadvantage. This was the birth of the network that encouraged the development and growth of community-based transportation in Nova Scotia.

Since then community transportation has grown by leaps and bounds. There are now 19 providers operating in all but two counties in Nova Scotia. These providers are supported in whole or in part by all three levels of governments and the communities they serve.

NSCTN has gone through several name changes but our vision has always been:

An integrated transportation network that serves the needs of every Nova Scotian; a network that leads to everyone’s door.

Community-based transportation is public transportation based where you live. It’s the bus service around your town. It’s the van that comes to your door to take you to an appointment. It’s the car service that you can call to take you grocery shopping.

By advocating for more community-based transportation in rural Nova Scotia, NSCTN improves options for residents who need transportation to get to and from medical appointments, school or classes, recreation opportunities, visiting friends, and shopping.

Having community-based transportation improves the quality of life for residents. Transportation options within communities mean elderly residents can more easily stay in their homes longer. It means that young people looking for better quality of life do not have to choose urban areas because of transportation requirements. Community-based transportation helps our communities stay vibrant and grow.

Vision:

To have an inclusive transportation network for everyone in Nova Scotia.

Mission:

To lead and support the development of innovative and practical solutions to community transportation challenges.

Values:

  • co-operation and partnership.
  • clients are our focus.
  • inclusive transportation is good public policy.
  • needs to be supported by the community and all levels of government.
  • innovative thinking.

As a member of NSCTN you will shape the work we do; making sure it is the right kind of work and enabling all community transportation supporters in Nova Scotia to speak with one voice for the community transport movement.

Affordable and accessible community transportation helps Nova Scotians get to work, school, important appointments, stay connected with friends and neighbours, and maintain active and independent lifestyles. Join the Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network today.

NSCTN is a non-profit organization, and the funds we collect from donations go directly back into Nova Scotia communities as we work towards our vision of inclusive transportation for everyone. Support ensures you are connected to the growth of community-based transportation and the benefits it provides to individuals, their families, and their communities.

NSCTN, through its dedicated volunteer Directors and members, offers three key ingredients to Nova Scotia’s sustainability:
1. Passion for transit in communities
2. Expertise in service development and delivery
3. Geographic representation, with members from all regions of Nova Scotia

Annual membership offers the following:

  • Voting privileges at our Annual General Meeting
  • Eligibility to serve on the Board of Directors, with direct input into priorities and action plans
  • Monthly newsletters and E-News bulletins
  • Connections to other individuals and organizations with similar goals and a wealth of experience to share

Contact

Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network
C/o Leslie Taylor
PO Box 29116
Halifax, NS  B3L 4T8

[email protected]

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    NSCTN management of the South Shore Transit Network Project

    NSCTN has managed the Maritime Bus-South Shore Transit Network Project (MB-SSNTP) since the service started.

    September 10, 2018 marked the first day of daily bus service connecting Lunenburg County and the South Shore to Halifax and beyond. Since then this daily bus service has proved to be a lifeline for many residents who lack the ability to get to Halifax and beyond.

    In the first fourteen months of operation the service provided 6,000 rides, with an average of 428 rides per month. This represents a lot of stories and connections, medical appointments made, family get-togethers attended, celebrations enjoyed, student homecomings, meetings met, new communities discovered, surprise visits, hazardous weather avoided, and tourist visits.

    There is the potential that many provincial government offices will benefit from affordable public transit for their clients, such as the Departments: Community Services, Justice, Health and Wellness (NSHA), and rural employees that have meetings in downtown Halifax. MB-SSNTP has made several service enhancements to help encourage additional ridership.

    Best Practices Manual for Volunteer Driver Insurance

    Various community transportation organizations struggle with developing volunteer driver programs, with the greatest barrier being driver insurance. Some community transportation providers report that they have difficulty in recruiting volunteer drivers because of liability concerns, as well as confusion and inconsistency regarding insurance options available. Insurance costs and coverage vary among individual insurance companies, and volunteer drivers are understandably reluctant to “shop around” for more suitable coverage if their current insurer raises extra requirements.

    While changes to insurance industry practices and the regulatory environment are beyond the scope of this project, developing consistent guidelines and best practices for community transportation providers regarding insurance will help in the recruitment and retention of volunteer drivers.

    More than Just…interviews

    Sometimes things are more than they seem. Simple labels  like “bus” or “transit” simply don’t describe the full story. More than just…is our Network’s way to celebrate the journey that community groups have taken to put wheels on the road. Every episode tells the backstory of how communities came together to meet the transportation needs of all Nova Scotians in their communities. Because sometimes a bus is more than just ….

    ACTS – Antigonish Community Transit Society – How Antigonish Poverty Reduction Coalition and Women’s Centre took the lead to provide a transit service for Antigonish Town and County residents. Please note this file was originally shot as a video.

    CHAD – How six municipal units came together to provide a service to Pictou County.

    Transit Cape Breton – How a transit manager worked with community groups to keep a service in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

    CarShare Atlantic – How a woman’s vision leads a movement of alternative transportation in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

    Newsletter

    NSCTN also publishes a monthly newsletter with transportation updates from across the province. To subscribe to our mailing list, please email Megan at [email protected]

    Community Transportation Assistance Program

    See how the NS Government, through the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, has invested over $1.8 million to the Community Transportation Assistance Program (CTAP 2020-21) which helps support nineteen community transit organizations in rural communities.

    NSCTN is very grateful to our funders, the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage (CCH) and the Nova Scotia Transit Research Incentive Program (NS-TRIP).

    Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage (CCH)
    CCH contributes to the well-being and prosperity of Nova Scotia’s diverse and creative communities through the promotion, development, preservation, and celebration of our culture, heritage, identity, and languages, and by providing leadership, expertise, and innovation to our stakeholders. The Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage is working in partnership with NSCTN to make community transportation more affordable, accessible, convenient, and reliable. https://cch.novascotia.ca/

    Nova Scotia Transit Research Incentive Program (NS-TRIP)
    NS-TRIP provides funding to help assess the need for and develop transit services in rural areas and underserviced urban areas. The program provides cost sharing at various funding levels depending on the scope of the project. Funding is available for 1 project per year per organization. https://beta.novascotia.ca/apply-funding-help-assess-need-and-develop-transit-service-rural-or-underserviced-urban-area-nova-scotia-transit-research-incentive-program

    Our friends are very important to us. They range from like-minded organizations to groups and businesses who share or complement the goals of NSCTN. Thank you for your support.

    PLANifax

    PLANifax is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and engaging the public on important planning, development and policy issues in Atlantic Canada, making them more informed and involved in their communities. Since 2015, we have helped community groups, municipal and provincial governments and individual clients tell their stories through many media with an emphasis on creating fun and engaging videos.

    https://planifax.ca/

    Service Nova Scotia

    Service Nova Scotia touches every citizen, business, and municipality in Nova Scotia. We conduct over five million client interactions each year through the various programs and services we deliver on behalf of government.

    https://novascotia.ca/sns/

    211

    211 is a free, confidential information and referral service to more than 4,000 community and social services across Nova Scotia. It is available throughout the province – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – by dialing “2-1-1” to speak to a helpful staff member or by searching the easy-to-use online database.

    http://ns.211.ca/

    Community Links

    Community Links is a province-wide organization that supports the establishment of age-friendly, inclusive communities by linking with others to promote needed changes.

    http://www.nscommunitylinks.ca

    Community Sector of Nova Scotia

    The Community Sector Council helps build organizational capacity within the Non-Profit & Voluntary Sector. It also acts as a non-partisan voice for the Community Sector, to help tell Nova Scotians about the contributions that the Community Sector makes to our province.

    https://www.csc-ns.ca/

    Mally

    Malley Industries manufactures ambulances, wheelchair accessible vehicles, plastic products and specialized commercial fleets for a wide range of clients. Malley is also a sponsor of our monthly E-newsletter. Thank you!

    https://www.malleyindustries.com/

    Maritime Bus

    Maritime Bus travels 10,000 km daily connecting passengers and parcels. The Bridgewater – Lunenburg – Mahone Bay – Chester service exemplifies their philosophy of where passion and belief exists, we must be connected.

    https://maritimebus.com/

    Nova Scotia Community College

    The NSCC, Truro Campus has been a supporter of NSCTN since 2016 when they graciously hosted the AGM.

    https://www.nscc.ca/

    Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities

    Advocacy and information for Nova Scotians with disabilities

    https://www.nsleo.com/

    Perry Rand

    The Bus Boys (Perry Rand Transportation Group) sell the safest school, commercial, vocational, special needs and transit bus vehicles manufactured. Their goal is to also give customers the very best after-sale service. The Bus Boys are also a sponsor of our monthly E-newsletter. Thank you!

    https://thebusboys.ca/

    Rural Transportation Association

    Rural Transportation Association (RTA) is a group of partner service providers that offer door-to-door, accessible transportation for residents of rural Nova Scotia. On their site you will find links to service providers specific to your area.

    http://ruralrides.ca/

    Following is a list of our board members, current as of January 2020. To contact any of our board members, please email us at [email protected]

    CHAIR:
    Reg Johnston, CBRM

    Reg is a retired educator and active member of the Glace Bay community. He is also chair of the local Community Health Board (CHB) and is passionate about the benefits of affordable, accessible transportation to his neighbours and community.

    VICE CHAIR:
    Bernard Swann, Halifax

    Bernie Swann is recently retired from the provincial Department of Transportation. He has been involved in inclusive/community transportation for over 25 years. His passion for community transportation continued in retirement as a Board Member of Community Transportation Nova Scotia, and now as a board member of the Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network.

    TREASURER:
    Tanya Burke, East Hants

    Tanya is the Executive Director of East Hants Community Learning Association (EHCLA)/East Hants Community Rider (EHCR). EHCLA believes in a strong and connected community and through individualized programming, opening doors to education and transportation, and helping to contribute to a more prosperous and proud community. With a hands-on learning approach, and the availability of rural transportation, we are empowering individuals to live with a sense of freedom and confidence. EHCR is committed to delivering safe, affordable, and accessible rides to all those facing transportation challenges in our community, irrespective of age or mobility.

    SECRETARY:
    Anne Corbin, Halifax/Queens County

    Anne is Executive Director of Community Links, a provincial organization supporting quality of life for Nova Scotia seniors. Transportation remains a key factor.

    DIRECTOR:
    Gil Johnson, Queens County

    Gil is a Regional Councillor with the Region of Queens Municipality, representing the Caledonia area, and is also president of GJ Utility Safety Training and Consulting Services. He has over 35 years experience in Electrical Utility Management and continues to offer humanitarian support following major storm events. Gil is adamant that accessible transportation is basic infrastructure and should be treated and supported like any other utility service.

    DIRECTOR:
    Nancy Dicks, Pictou County

    Nancy currently serves as the Mayor of the Town of New Glasgow. In her capacity as Mayor, she also serves as Vice Chair of the Pictou County Wellness Centre Building Authority Inc. and the Pictou County Shared Services Authority. Nancy has a deep passion in volunteering for the betterment of her community. As a retired teacher, she dedicates her volunteer time with many organizations such as CHAD Transit, Roots for Youth, St. Vincent de Paul, and VON.

    DIRECTOR:
    Aron Ashton, Ex-offico

    Aron was introduced to the NSCTN in its formative years when it was known as Community Transit Nova Scotia. He became involved with NSCTN while working in a CBRM collaborative helping address barriers affecting people being able to commute daily. Aron has been involved in various Community transportation-related initiatives in his former role with Public Health. He continues to remain involved in his current role as  Eastern Zone Manager for the Public Engagement Team supporting Community Health Boards.

    DIRECTOR:
    Derek Gillis, Halifax

    Derek is active in many community groups working toward transportation solutions. He lives nearly car-free in Halifax, averaging less than four hours per month of car use via CarShare HFX. Derek commutes by bicycle, bus, and ferry, and enjoys walking.

    DIRECTOR:
    Faye Brown, Kings County – Kings Point to Point

    Faye has been the Manager of Kings Point to Point Transit Society since 2008. In 2012 she was one of the founding members of the Rural Transportation Association (RTA) and currently is its Treasurer. She also served on NSCTN’s predecessor board from 2011-13. Faye was born and raised in the Kentville area. She has a BSc from Acadia University and has worked most of her life in the Annapolis Valley.

    DIRECTOR:
    Ellen Johnson – Lunenburg

    Ellen works as an Occupational Therapist in private practice in Bridgewater where she supports clients with physical and mental health issues to participate more fully in everyday life. As a person with a disability herself, she understands the barrier that lack of affordable, accessible transportation presents to herself and her clients. She has worked to improve accessibility in work and volunteer roles including advocating for improved transportation options in rural Nova Scotia. Ellen is also currently a member of the Lunenburg County Accessibility Advisory committee.

    DIRECTOR:
    Ted Hobson – Lunenburg

    Ted joined the board in June 2018. After growing up in Halifax he spent 30 years in the Canadian Foreign Service with postings in Pakistan/Afghanistan, Geneva, Paris, Washington, and Saudi Arabia, where he served as Ambassador.After retiring to Mader’s Cove in 2001, he served for 10 years on the Board of Directors of the Mahone Bay Centre, where in 2006 he initiated the Mahone Bay Area Seniors Project, with the objective of promoting “independent and active living in a supportive community”. His other board commitments include: South Shore Helping Hands, Community Links, and Nova Scotia Health Authority’s Patient, Family and Community Advisory Council.

    Contact us if you have any questions or comments.

    Coordinator: Leslie Taylor
    Leslie, an original Community Transportation NS board member, came on as a staff member in 2018.  In addition to her role with the Network, Leslie is involved in a number of health and community projects on Nova Scotia’s South Shore and is a founding board member of Community Wheels, the door-to-door community transit system serving Chester and area. For general inquiries or information, please contact Leslie at [email protected]

    Communications: Leslie Carlyle-Ebert
    Leslie has been a staff member since 2015. Her responsibilities include communications, databasing, and mapping.
    [email protected]

    Administrator: Megan Ebert
    Megan joined the team in 2019. Along with helping with daily administration tasks, she also aids with the mapping, community outreach, and organization of Network projects.
    [email protected]

    Mailing Address

    Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network
    c/o Leslie Taylor
    Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network
    PO Box 29116
    Halifax, NS B3L 4T8

    Call Toll Free 1-833-899-2253

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      Thank you to our Funders: NS Department of Public Works and NS Transit Research Incentive Program