FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has received the report From Surfaces to Services: An inclusive and sustainable transportation strategy for the Province of New Brunswick 2017-2037, from a committee of the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation.

Lack of access to transportation poses significant challenges for many New Brunswickers. The development of a transportation strategy has been identified as one of the 28 Priority Actions in Overcoming Poverty Together: The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan 2014-2019.

The corporation’s Rural and Urban Transportation Advisory Committee was given the mandate to develop comprehensive rural and urban transportation strategies and to propose improved mobility options.

The committee, chaired by Yves Bourgeois, met with many experts and hundreds of New Brunswickers who voiced the need for integrated, inclusive and sustainable transportation.

“I am confident that with the recommendations presented in the report, the government will be able to develop a strategy that will benefit the majority of New Brunswickers, whether they live in a rural or an urban area,” said Bourgeois. “For the strategy to bring significant results, our report makes clear that we need not only to rethink transportation options, but also to align them with how we build our communities, with a better understanding of people's needs and travel patterns, while making it easier for people to act on these options.”

Recommendations in the report include:

  • To clarify roles and responsibilities for transportation services in New Brunswick.
  • To improve the planning, provision and alignment of transportation services.
  • To improve and integrate transportation data for decision-making and trip-making.
  • To enhance the availability of affordable, accessible and effective urban and rural transportation options.
  • To develop an action plan to implement the strategy.

“Our dependence on private vehicles has created a heavy financial burden on middle income families, while posing even greater obstacles to vulnerable populations,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames, who is also minister responsible for the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation. “The growing number of examples of people unable to find transportation for medical appointments, or who have a disability, highlight the need for a new vision for transportation in the province.”

The Advisory Committee on Rural and Urban Transportation members were:

  • Yves Bourgeois, chair, Shippagan;
  • Ross Alexander, Upper Coverdale;
  • Gérard Belliveau, Shediac;
  • Stan Choptiany, Saint Andrews;
  • Haley Flaro, Fredericton;
  • Germaine Guimond, Richibucto;
  • Trevor Hanson, Fredericton;
  • Manon Landry-Pitre, Saint-Joseph;
  • Ian Mackinnon, Saint John;
  • Roger Martin, Dieppe;
  • Frank McCarey, Saint John;
  • Jamie O’Rourke, Belledune; and
  • the late Aurore Thériault.

A committee made up of representatives from various government departments and external stakeholders and supported by the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, will be created to oversee the implementation of the recommendations.

“I offer my sincere thanks to all the members of the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation's Advisory Committee on Rural and Urban Transportation for their hard work and dedication to this important file,” said Ames. “I also thank committee chair Yves Bourgeois for his commitment to making transportation more accessible and affordable for New Brunswickers.”

The report is available online.