By Craig Westcott / September 8, 2023
The Town of CBS is getting $37,000 from the provincial government to look at public transit possibilities in the town.
Councillor-at-Large Paul Connors, who chairs council’s economic development committee, made the motion Tuesday to accept the grant which is to be used for the development of a ‘community transportation implementation plan.’
“As a council we’ve been looking at different ways where we can introduce a transportation system here into our town,” said Connors. “This grant will assist us in the evaluation of an accessible and inclusive community transportation service designed to meet the needs of the residents with the goal of developing a transit implementation plan that will outline the most effective and efficient model for the town. It’s a work in progress and this money will help us to be able to move forward with it.”
Mayor Darrin Bent admitted the town is “certainly lacking” a public transit system.
“It’s just (a matter of) finding the right way forward with what we can afford and what our residents need,” he said. “Doing this investigation with this money is extremely important and hopefully it will guide the way forward to see where we can go with this.”
CBS is the largest municipality in the province without a public transit system. Neighbouring Paradise has a bus route tied to the Metrobus system in St. John’s, while Mount Pearl has a number of Metrobus routes. To the west of CBS, the Town of Holyrood accepted federal funding last year to purchase two 18-seat electric buses. While the receipt of those buses is still a couple of years away, the Town has received approval from the Province for funding to devise a plan to operate a municipal bus service.
In the 1960s, 70s and early 80s, a daily bus service ran the length of Routes 70 and 60 all the way from Carbonear through Conception Bay Centre and through the communities that now compose Conception Bay South all the way to downtown St. John’s and back. And before that, the most populous region of the Avalon from Conception Bay North to St. John’s was connected by train.