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Expanded Community Transportation Services Coming to Lunenburg County

By Evan Taylor Jun 15, 2023 | 2:26 PM

Nova Scotia announced nearly $1M in additional funding for rural transit operators, like Chester Community Wheels. Photo: Facebook.

Lunenburg County residents will soon have improved access to community-based transportation services as the Province of Nova Scotia has announced a significant investment of over $290,000. The funding will support the expansion of Lunenburg County Wheels, a local organization providing pre-booked, door-to-door transportation services. This expansion will enable more community members to access safe, affordable, and reliable transportation.

The Minister of Public Works, Kim Masland, emphasized the importance of local transportation services to communities and acknowledged the growing demand for such services in Nova Scotia. She expressed confidence that the investment would benefit the Lunenburg community and enable more residents to meet their transportation needs effectively.

Lunenburg County Wheels initially began as an expansion of the Senior Wheels Association of Bridgewater, which catered to seniors and individuals with physical disabilities within a limited radius of Bridgewater. However, it has now evolved into an inclusive transportation service available to people of all ages and abilities, covering a larger area. While continuing to serve the Bridgewater area, the organization has expanded its reach to northwest communities such as New Germany and Hemford.

Recently, Lunenburg County Wheels further extended its services to include communities located south of Bridgewater, such as Petite Riviere, LaHave, and Middlewood. The ultimate goal of the organization is to serve the entire western half of Lunenburg County, ensuring transportation accessibility for all residents.

The funding for this initiative is part of the Province’s climate plan, specifically supporting Action 39, which aims to increase access to community transportation services in areas outside the Halifax Regional Municipality and Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The climate plan, known as “Our Climate, Our Future: Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth,” focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency, and enhancing resilience to climate change impacts, thereby fostering a cleaner and more sustainable future for all Nova Scotians.

Jerome Tanner, the President of Lunenburg County Wheels, expressed gratitude for the funding and highlighted its significance in ensuring the continuation of the Senior Wheels association under the new brand. Tanner emphasized that the expanded, all-inclusive service would allow both existing and future customers to access essential medical and social resources, thereby promoting a connected community through affordable door-to-door transportation.

In addition to this funding, the Province has previously provided financial support to transit service providers across Nova Scotia through federal COVID-19 relief funding and grants to enhance the booking process for operators and clients. Municipalities and non-profit organizations can also apply for assistance from the Community Transportation Assistance Program, which covers a portion of operating costs for community-based, inclusive transportation services.

With this latest investment, Lunenburg County Wheels will play a pivotal role in meeting the transportation needs of residents in the region, fostering connectivity, and supporting the overall well-being of the community.


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