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More than 100 surveys have so far come in - Feb. 19, 2014

Barb Rayner
Saint Andrews
More than 100 copies of the survey to identify transportation needs in the county have already been returned to the Charlotte County Transportation Committee.
The province’s Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation is providing $5000 in funding towards the survey drawn up by the committee which includes people representing different groups such as the John Howard Society, the Saint Andrews community college and the Boys and Girls Club in St. Stephen as well as the town of Saint Andrews.
The ESIC funding will cover such things as analysis of the survey, exploration of the options identified and looking at how a transportation system might be organized.
Mayor Stan Choptiany said the committee met Thursday and has been talking to Trevor Hansen, UNB’s transportation chair, who will be doing the analysis once all the surveys have been returned as well as give the committee some direction over possible plans.
“We have about 120 in already and we are still pushing to get more. So far we have done a lot of advertising and we have lots from Saint Andrews and we are looking to get a more general response.”
Dana Planetta, executive director of Charlotte Dial-A-Ride, attended the Thursday meeting to discuss how their efforts will fit in with the transportation plan, Choptiany said.
“We are trying to find a situation that supports what they are doing. Some of their routes might work for a larger system.”
The next meeting of the committee is Feb. 26 at the Saint Andrews town hall and Choptiany said the group hopes to have more surveys back by then.
Hansen will compile the finished surveys.
Transportation needs have been identified by the committee in three areas. The first is local municipal needs to access specific services, social connections, business/shopping and medical appointments.
The second area is Charlotte County in order for people without their own transportation to access services such as Charlotte County Hospital and Service New Brunswick.
The third area is a regional need to access Saint John, Fredericton and the U.S., access to government services, medical appointments, shopping/business, airports, other travel and student travel to and from university or community college.
The goal of the survey is to try to identify ridership, find out why people take the bus, where they take the bus, what times they take the bus and what they can afford so the committee can understand where the needs are.
barb@stcroixcourier.ca