Reposted from the Atlantic Canada Regional Transportation Thread:
In a perfect world, this would be the ideal time for the three provincial governments to join forces and develop a single coherent regional public transportation strategy for the entire region.
My preference would be for a transit strategy based on regional rail, supplemented by bus service from outside communities to railway "hubs".
These two maps show the remaining rail lines in the region:
The core of system would obviously be a rail service from Saint John to Moncton and on to Truro and Halifax. I suppose the service could be extended to Fredericton as well, but since the terminus would be in Fredericton Junction, (a considerable distance from the city), I'm not sure how well supported this would be. Perhaps one of the Fredericton forumers would be able to expound on this matter. Ideally, I would like this to be a twice daily service in order to build ridership. If you want to make a service popular, you have to make it convenient.
There might be the potential for a second passenger rail service from Sydney to Halifax via Truro. This probably would be no more than once daily, but this would give three times daily service from Truro to Halifax (four times on those days that VIA is running).
I am not sure about running another line along the eastern shore of NB from Campbellton to Moncton. For the time being, this corridor will still be served three times weekly with VIA. A thrice weekly service just doesn't cut it for passenger convenience, especially for people who just need to go down to Moncton for the day for medical appointmants etc. A daily service on this corridor would be preferrable.
There is obviousy an option for local commuter rail between Windsor NS and Halifax. This should be explored.
To supplement this, connecting bus routes should be established, for example from Charlottetown to Moncton, Fredericton to Saint John, Edmunston to Fredericton, Yarmouth to Halifax (both via the Annapolis Valley and the South Shore).
Just think about how lively our rail stations could become. There could be 5-6 passenger trains per day in Moncton, with interconnecting busses arriving at the station from Charlottetown etc. In Halifax there could be 6-7 trains per day (many more with regional commuter rail) as well as all the connecting busses.
is definitely the time to think about this!