What is the Network?
What is the Network?
The Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network (NSCTN) is a non-profit that advocates and supports community-based transportation in Nova Scotia. Within the community transportation sector in Nova Scotia, we act as a hub for providers, funders, clients, and supporters. Out of this hub we offer information sharing, education, advocacy, innovation, and support new and existing providers within the community transportation sector. We are working to build a strong integrated community transportation sector across rural Nova Scotia.
In October 2000, approximately 120 stakeholders representing over 50 organizations met. The result was the creation of 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. It became apparent that there was a need for a network—a single voice for the issues around accessible transportation.
It has been a long road since 1996 when the first two community transportation providers (Transport de Clare and CHAD) hit the road. They were fledgling organizations that worked on a wing and a prayer, meeting the needs of people living with disabilities in Clare and Pictou Counties. By the year 2000, eight transportation providers were operating in rural communities. It became apparent a formal provincial organization, the Nova Scotia Community-Based Transportation Association (NS-CBTA), was needed to share information, provide education opportunities, advocate on behalf of the sector, encourage innovation, and support new and existing providers within the community transportation sector.
Since then, community transportation has grown by leaps and bounds. There are now 22 providers operating in all of Nova Scotia. These providers are supported in whole or in part by all three levels of government 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.
To have an inclusive transportation network for everyone in Nova Scotia.
To lead and support the development of innovative and practical solutions to community transportation challenges.
- 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
Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network
C/o Leslie Taylor
PO Box 29116
Halifax, NS B3L 4T8
or use this form
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.
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.
Toolkit for RTA Transportation Managers
NSCTN developed this user manual to help community transportation managers in their mission to run an effective and efficient organization. This Toolkit will help you navigate the vast amount of information related to how to safely and properly offer passengers services in Nova Scotia.
Vehicle Licensing Information for Utility and Review Board (UARB)
NSCTN developed these graphics to help explain the differences between licensing, as required by the Utility and Review Board of Nova Scotia.
Insurance Questions around Volunteer Drivers
NSCTN developed this guide to clearly outline the best practices for organizations that recruit volunteer drivers to transport people. This guide has two goals:
- Demystify issues around insurance for both non-profits and their volunteer drivers.
- Supply tools and forms to help screen potential volunteers.
NSCTN is very grateful to our funders: the Government of Nova Scotia
Government of Nova Scotia
The Government of Nova Scotia 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 Government of Nova Scotia is working in partnership with NSCTN to make community transportation more affordable, accessible, convenient, and reliable.https://beta.novascotia.ca/
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 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.
We believe that everyone should have access to safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation options, regardless of their mobility. In this spirit, MoveMobility is proud to be the industry leader through innovative and user-friendly vehicles, designed to be accessible for all.
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.
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.
Community Links is a province-wide organization that supports the establishment of age-friendly, inclusive communities by linking with others to promote needed changes.
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.
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!
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.
The NSCC, Truro Campus has been a supporter of NSCTN since 2016 when they graciously hosted the AGM.
Advocacy and information for Nova Scotians with disabilities
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!
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.
Following is a list of our board members, current as of November 2023. To contact any of our board members, please email us at [email protected]
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 and opening doors to education and transportation, we help to contribute to a more prosperous and proud community. With 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.
Sam Thompson, Pictou County
Sam is a student at Dalhousie University and Owner of Melmerby Adventures water sport rentals. He is very interested in improving his connections with community through his involvement with various local and provincial groups. Sam looks forward to working with the board and partners to work towards improving transportation across the province.
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.
Cyril Camus, Inverness County
Cyril currently resides in Chéticamp and works for the CSAP, Le Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, as Mathematics and Science Consultant. He is a board member of several community organizations including NIRCA, Le Conseil des arts de Chéticamp, and l’Acabie. He believes volunteers are the heart of most communities in Nova Scotia, particularly rural communities and this passion has motivated him to be an active volunteer in his community for the past 30 years and plans to continue throughout his upcoming retirement.
Ellen Johnson, Lunenburg County
Ellen is an occupational therapist by profession and is currently working as Accessibility Coordinator for the five municipalities in Lunenburg County. As a person with a disability living in rural Nova Scotia, she understands the importance of access to affordable and accessible transportation options for people to participate fully in their communities. She has worked to improve accessibility in the province in her current job, through advocacy and roles on a variety of boards and committees. Ellen is also currently a board member for Nova Scotia’s Accessibility Advisory Board and the CNIB Nova Scotia Board.
Gil Johnson, Queens County
Gil is a former Regional Councillor with the Region of Queens Municipality, representing the Caledonia area, and is currently 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.
Mary MacLellan, Pictou County
Mary has worked with Seniors Outreach and Resource Centre, where she diligently worked to help vulnerable older adults maintain their dignity and independence, and to stay connected to their communities. Mary is excited to continue this work as part of the NSCTN Board to help improve transportation options for everyone.
Lee Norman, Victoria County
Lee currently works as a paramedic in Victoria County, and is also a volunteer driver for Strait Area Transit. Lee is a strong advocate for community transportation options and is passionate about improving options across the province.
Bernard Swan, Halifax
Bernie Swan 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.
Sarah Balloch, HRM, Ex-offico
Sarah Balloch is a well-rounded program manager at Clean Foundation with experience in public outreach and engagement surrounding energy efficiency-related programming, rebate programs and community-focused programming. While currently living in Halifax she was raised in West Hants and continues to work towards making Nova Scotia a leader in the environmental space. With a BA in Environmental Studies and an MA in Environmental Education and Communication, Sarah has a wide breadth of knowledge relating to environmental issues and the complex social, economic and ecological systems they exist in. Her enthusiasm for the environment continues into wild spaces, with training from the Outdoor Council of Canada, Hike NS, Canadian Women & Sport and the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
NSCTN is a non-profit charitable organization and funds we collect from donations go directly back into the Nova Scotia communities as we work towards our vision of inclusive community transit for all Nova Scotians. By donating to NSCTN you help our work continue. Thank you.
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]
Project Support: 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.
Administration & Communication: Amy Chrysler
Amy joined the team in 2023. She is helping with administrative tasks and board support along with website updates, social media and communication.
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 Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter