Musgo Rider Takes On
Sheet Harbour and the Valley
By Richard Bell
The highly successful Musgo Rider operation operating out of Porters Lake has now spun off a brand-new fellow cooperative to serve Sheet Harbour and the Musquodoboit Valley. Both cooperatives offer door-to-door, pre-booked transportation.
At a launch ceremony in Sheet Harbour on October 17, 2016, Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines (speaking on behalf of Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill) said that the province was contributing $59,042 to set up a pilot project to provide expanded transportation services.
“Public transit is an important service in many of our small towns and rural communities across the province," said Hines. “Through our funding programs we help make these transit services accessible and able to meet the needs of citizens."
The new cooperative, MusGo Rider Valley-Sheet Harbour Cooperative Ltd., will be working closely with its fellow organization, MusGo Rider Cooperative Ltd., which has been operating from Preston and Lawrencetown to Ship Harbour since 2012.
"Provincial funding helped us develop a comprehensive business plan and launch the service on a firm financial footing, taking us through the first several months of growth," said David Kerr, board chair for MusGo Rider Valley-Sheet Harbour Cooperative Ltd. "The funding is important to ensure future success of our transit service."
Both organizations require users to pre-book their rides. The organizations work with municipal and provincial the agencies to obtain funds to reduce fees for some users. And both have wheelchair-accessible vehicles to make it easy for everyone to get to medical appointments, grocery stores, family and community events, and more.
Newly re-elected District 2 City Councillor David Hendsbee, and MLA and House Speaker Kevin Murphy also spoke briefly at the event. Both politicians have been strong supporters of the original Musgo cooperative, which grew out of a demand for better transportation services in the 2007 Musquodoboit Harbour visioning process. After the ceremony, Murphy tried out the rear-accessible wheelchair ramp on the new Valley/Sheet Harbour van, leaving the very first tracks on the ramp.
Several local residents attending the ceremony suggested that the new coop should look into coordinating with the Metro X express bus that runs out of Porters Lake as a way of reducing the cost of a trip from Sheet Harbour into Dartmouth or Halifax.
As it happens, two planners from HRM working on a new “integrated mobility plan” (IMP) attended the ceremony.
According to the IMP website, the IMP “will create a vision for moving around the Halifax region and help to direct future investment in transportation demand management, transit, active transportation, and the roadway network to improve the links between residents and their communities.” The two Musgo organizations fit well with the plan’s emphasis on “public and community based transit.” HRM planners are conducting public workshops about the plan. For more information, go to:
To contact Musgo Rider for more information or to book a ride, please call 902-483-7433 or toll free 1-855-483-7433.