MONCTON - Acadian Coach Lines in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and Acadian Intercity Coaches in Nova Scotia are closing their Maritime operations by the end of this year.
Employees were given the news on Tuesday and government officials were advised of the decision. The plan is to cease all operations by Nov. 30.
There is an Acadian bus terminal in Truro that employs four people.
"It is well known that Acadian has been struggling financially for quite some time and we've worked hard over the last few years to try to implement a sustainable network, to gain flexibility in the regulatory and operational framework and obtain support to allow us to reduce our financial losses but to no avail," said Denis Andlauer, CEO, Groupe Orléans Express, in a news release.
The company, which was established in 1937, has been trying to reverse its financial losses (close to $12 million since the acquisition in 2004 excluding write-offs of amounts due to the parent company) for a number of years.
It introduced many operational changes in an effort to become as efficient as possible, and increase passenger volumes. In 2010, the company tried to implement a sustainable network in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, however the companies were not granted permission to make the changes they deemed necessary.
Under the current regulatory frameworks, Acadian is granted exclusivity on the routes it operates thus allowing for profitable routes to compensate for less sustainable ones, particularly those serving communities with low population density that generate low passenger volumes.
Overall, the network should be profitable however it is not the case in the Maritimes. The weight of non-profitable routes is simply too great, said Andlauer.
"Since we cannot keep sustaining significant financial losses indefinitely, we had to consider all of our options," said Andlauer. "Sadly, we've exhausted all other alternatives and we have no choice but to close our Maritime operations. The decision to cease our activities has been a very difficult one and it was only taken after having rigorously evaluated every alternative and explored all scenarios.
"We wish to thank the traveling public and the people of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia for their support over the years. We're committed to working closely with our employees and unions to help all personnel with either retirement or with finding other employment."