January 31 Panel: Sustainable, Accessible, Affordable Transportation: The Rural Experience


Video is housed on our Vimeo account. Closed Captioning is enabled.

Sustainable, Accessible, Affordable Transportation: The Rural Experience

Results of the Mentimeter poll can be viewed here

Want to connect to continue the discussion? Feel welcome to join the Facebook Group Atlantic Changemakers Community and join the Rural Transportation chat

Many thanks to our panelists who shared their experiences:

Morgan Dunn: Youth Transportation Project, CBYF Coordinator, Digby (IC)

Treno Morton: Driven by Community Coordinator, Climate Engagement Specialist, Dartmouth (IC)

Briana Cowie: Project: Village organizer, Executive Director of ECW, NB

Yves Hennekens: Founder of the SAUVéR platform, President, YHC Environnement

Topics that might be the basis for future discussions:

  • Should public transportation consider profitability? (What contributes to ‘profitable’ – is it just revenue?)
  • Are there any examples in Canada of rail combined with electric bikes and bikes? Or, more broadly, where are the great examples of public / active transportation systems that are well integrated?
  • E-bike sharing services or programs? 
  • Cooperatives as a business model for carsharing programs? https://carsharing.org/canadian-carsharing-cooperatives/ 
  • How to move beyond car-first models. Can other models that aren’t as centred around cars force us to confront more intersectional issues re community design, and how people can meet their basic needs and services? Cars models may still mean our streets look the same. Pushing for public transit, walkability, roll-ability, cycling infrastructure may allow more considerations to come into play and new ways to care with compassion and creativity for our rural landscape and design, perhaps? Obviously, transportation doesn’t exist in a vacuum and I wonder how advocacy for beyond-car models (or in addition to car-sharing and such models) can allow us to consider other issues of accessibility, affordability, sustainability, liveability, thrive-ability in our communities. (Examples: articulating that we need a health centre in this region instead of just more ways to drive/get people to a centre far away; we need UBI so folks don’t have to work 60 hour work week and have time to bike around to meet their needs, etc etc) 
  • Planning – connections among housing, food security, civic infrastructure like schools, and transportation: How do we plan for nimbleness in the face of unexpected growth? 

Some of the great local services and resources mentioned or shared through the chat:

  • Dial-a-ride services with volunteer drivers operating around Atlantic Canada
  • Bay Rides – community-based transit operating in St. Margaret’s Bay
  • Community Rural Public Transit on the Eastern Shore and Musquodoboit Valley – MusGo Rider
  • Drive Happiness – volunteer senior transportation
  • Le Transport de Clare Society mentioned is one of 21(22?) community transportation providers  (CTO) who belong to the Rural Transportation association (RTA)
  • We are a CTO called Chester Community Wheels based in the Municipality of Chester.

RTA – the Rural Transportation Association:

“We are Nova Scotia’s door-to-door accessible ride services, available to all for a more accessible province. Find out about our provider members and where you can find them by checking out our FIND A RIDE section or see what we can do for you and your family or organization under OUR SERVICES.”

Nova Scotia Community Transportation 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.

More resources:

CBC Maritime Connection Phone in – January 29, 2023: Public Transit

CBC Maritime Noon Phone in – February 2, 2023: Walkable Communities

TIP: Public Libraries are great collaborators / partners in transportation projects (and lots of other community building work!)

Atlantic Carshare/Communauto (55% hybrid vehicles, 45% gas)

Clean Foundation’s Transportation programs

  • Electrify Rebates
  • Next Ride
  • EV Assist
  • EV Boost

Ecology Action Centre’s work on Transportation and Built Environment

Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) work on Public Transit and Green Transportation Funds

An inspiring article with lots of case study links about walkable towns

The Electric Wheelchair Accessible Car Wayne O’Toole shared

Road image from Pixabay, Pexels.