Blacks Harbour – While he supports the idea of the Rural Lynx bus service in Charlotte County, Coun. Mike Chase does not feel it is being marketed properly.
“I think, in spirit, the idea is good but the business plan for it is not good and it is failing miserably,” he said at Wednesday night’s village council meeting.
He questioned why, if Mayor Terry James, who is a member of the New Brunswick South West Service Commission’s transportation committee, has been unable to obtain ridership numbers, how can anyone else?
“I know how well it is going. I travel the roads every day and there is nobody on the bus. The idea is good in spirit but at what point do you say it is not working as planned and we need to do something different?”
James said that, in all fairness, Rural Lynx had recently lost its executive director, who was hired in the fall, as he took over the job of executive director of SWNBSC.
Coun. Adam Hatt said one of the problems with the bus service is that people cannot just walk on and purchase a ticket. He said passengers have to go online and have a credit card and they cannot even purchase tickets at the store.
“Nobody knows anything about the service. There are no signs. They are expected to go to the website but we have a lot of people who don’t go to the website,” said Chase.
“You see the buses going, but the problem is there is a lot of talk about Rural Lynx but some of them are not marked. As far as a marketing campaign about the buses, it is not visible. People don’t know much about it. I get that a marketing plan was not budgeted into it.”
James said the SWNBSC is not involved in the operation of Rural Lynx but the money for the pilot project flows through the commission. She agreed there were some glitches and said she would do her best to obtain more information.
“I would like nothing better than to see the buses full and everybody using them,” added Chase.