Rural transportation to improve quality of life
Many residents in the Tantramar region are seeking transportation to meet their daily needs, to get to medical appointments, to participate in community events, and to lessen their environmental impact. In the coming weeks, there will be a series of transportation stories shared by local residents as part of the Transportation for Tantramar initiative through EOS Eco-energy, a local non-profit community-based organization.
Denyse Milliken enjoys life in Dorchester. Her daughter attends the local school, and has many friends in the area. Milliken is active in the community, working part-time and participating in community events and the local historical society. Despite this, Milliken has often considered moving to Sackville. Finding affordable transportation is a serious concern for Milliken, as a single parent with a limited income living in rural Tantramar. In the Village of Dorchester, goods and services are limited, requiring residents to make regular trips to Sackville, and occasionally Monc- ton, to meet their daily needs.
“You can’t live without a car in a rural area,” explains Milliken. “If it reached a point where I couldn’t keep it, I’d have to move.”
The rising cost of vehicle ownership - especially gas - is hard on families with fixed incomes.
Milliken has to be very selective about the trips she makes. Every Saturday, she travels to the Farmers Market in Sackville to sell her wool and handmade crafts. She also takes this opportunity to pick up any necessities.
“I try to combine trips. Generally, I won’t come in until Saturday for the market.”
This works well for shopping, but it can be very limiting when it comes to social activities. While Milliken enjoys life in Dorchester, she also likes to get out to events in Sackville and Moncton.
Whenever possible, she carpools with friends, but this isn’t always an option. Often, she simply can’t make the trip.
“Living in rural areas can be isolating.” Says Milliken. “Sometimes I just need to get out, but I can’t afford to go for just one thing.”
A community transportation system would provide rural Tantramar residents with the ability to participate regularly in events in the Tantramar area, and reduce the disproportional impact that the rising cost of operating a personal vehicle has on families with limited income.
As Milliken commented: “I think that a lot of people living in rural areas are in the same position.
A transportation system would give people more options, improving the quality of life in Tantramar from a social and economic perspective.”
For more information on the Transportation for Tantramar project, please contact EOS Eco-energy at email@example.com or 536-4487.