UPDATED 2:50 P.M.
The former Acadian Bus Lines building on Willow Street will open early Monday morning as it becomes the new home for Maritime Bus.
The first bus will arrive at 8:50 a.m. from Antigonish.
Maritime Bus brought its service to Truro in December after Acadian Coach Lines and Acadian Intercity Coaches ceased regional operations, and it has been operating hand-in-hand with Via Rail on the Esplanade.
Maritime Bus owner Mike Cassidy told the Truro Daily News the reason for the move is a need for more space.
“We are too big and too active for that area. It was very congested … and there was so much confusion … and we had difficulty at Christmas. We can’t go through another December like that,” said Cassidy, referring to the buses that arrive and leave in front of Via Rail and ultimately caused a situation in which “it was hard for the buses to get in and out and for people to get to their cars or pick up or drop off parcels (and) it wasn’t fair to other (nearby businesses) for us to be blocking and impeding them,” added Cassidy.
He said the former bus station is ideal and has been kept in good condition in the past year.
“It’s weathered quite well and had the heat on the whole time. It’s a lonely little building that’s meant to be a bus terminal,” Cassidy said.
“It has more parking, room for transfers and a bigger lounge. We consider this a very easy move,” which doesn’t need renovations at this point. Signage, however, will be required.
Another benefit to using the former bus station, said Cassidy, is that it’s already identified as a bus terminal by area residents. The relocation does not mean dissatisfaction with Via Rail, he stressed.
“We don’t regret that. We tried it and evaluated it and had a good train-bus relationship.”
Since December, there’s been an estimated 15 per cent increase in bus passengers in this area, said Cassidy. The Truro station could have 300 people pass through or get on and off the bus each day. On Thanksgiving weekend alone, an estimated 5,000 bus users passed through the area.
There will be 10 buses running in and out of the Willow Street site Mondays to Thursdays and Saturdays and 14 buses operating there on Fridays and Sundays. Service will be provided to and from Truro, Halifax, Moncton and Sydney. For more details, including fares and schedules, visit www.maritimebus.com
TRURO - The empty bus station on Willow Street will come alive again next week.
Mike Cassidy, owner of Maritime Bus Ltd., confirmed with the Truro Daily News that the current bus system operating outside of Via Rail on the Esplanade in Truro will relocate to the former Acadian Lines building on Willow Street early Monday morning.
Cassidy said while the working relationship between the rail system and Maritime Bus has been very positive, the area is "too congested" to maintain the bus service at that spot.
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