Green Party Leader looking for provincial leadership on public transportation

Fredericton - David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green party of New Brunswick is looking to Premier Gallant to improve public transportation in the province.

"Public transportation is an essential service to ensure New Brunswickers can access healthcare and employment, and travel for work and family obligations within our metropolitan areas and between our regions," said Coon. "The percentage of people who do not drive or drive rarely is rapidly increasing as our population ages, at the same time as public services are being centralized in our urban centres, requiring more travel to access them, yet no cabinet minister has yet been given the mandate to ensure New Brunswickers can travel without depending on private vehicle ownership.”

Premier Gallant needs to lay out his vision for public transportation in New Brunswick," said Coon. "The timing is perfect as he has just received recommendations from the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation’s task force on public transportation this month. New revenue from federal government for public transportation and from carbon pricing will provide funds to pay for improving access to public transportation in our cities, within our regions, and between them,” said Coon.

The Green Party leaders say a public transportation system for New Brunswick should include provincial support for:

- rural transit authorities, such as the Rural Lynx proposed for southwestern New Brunswick, to link towns and rural areas with public services and employment in urban centres

-expanding municipal transit services

- connecting urban centres through short-line rail in partnership with VIA Rail

"Most importantly, the Premier must give a member of his cabinet the mandate to establish an accessible and affordable public transportation system for New Brunswick," said Coon. “To this point, no one in government has held that mandate, leaving us with inadequate, incomplete, and inconvenient public transportation infrastructure.”