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Advocacy group calls for emergency funding for Via Rail and long-distance bus service

Last week, Via Rail announced the Ocean Route between Halifax and Montreal would be shut down until at least Nov. 1
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Via Rail train (Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

A public transportation advocacy group is calling on the federal government to provide emergency funding to Via Rail and motorcoach services in Canada.

Transport Action Canada says passenger train and long-distance buses provide a "lifeline" to several communities across the country.

"Even though passenger numbers are down due to travel restrictions and public health measures, these communities should not be left completely isolated," the group says in a news release.

Last week, Via Rail announced the Ocean Route between Halifax and Montreal would be shut down until at least Nov. 1.

The Canadian Route between Toronto and Vancouver is also suspended until that date.

In addition, Greyhound Canada -- which provides bus service in Ontario, along with a route between Ottawa and Montreal -- has temporarily cancelled its service.

Transport Action Canada has written to Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

The organization says many large municipalities have requested funding for their urban transit systems.

"We wish to speak up for smaller towns, rural and northern communities which are usually served by VIA Rail's long-distance trains and by motorcoach services, as these communities may not have as strong a political voice as our biggest cities," the group says. 




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