PORT HAWKESBURY: A local transit co-operative is looking to expand and will plead their case during a public hearing.

On February 28, Antigonish municipal council chambers will play host to a Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) hearing regarding Strait Area Transit (SAT). Since making the application, the NSUARB granted objector status to Mac Tour Inc., Markie Bus Tours, and Transoverland Limited.

“We applied to have our charter licence expand to Antigonish town and county,” said SAT office manager Jessie MacDonald. “We’ll see what happens there.

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We’ve got the full support of Antigonish Community Transit for our expansion, which has been helpful. They haven’t been able to obtain a charter license in their history so they’re behind us 100 per cent to see if it would be a possibility.”

MacDonald said the license would allow SAT to operate as a charter in Antigonish, allowing people to rent from SAT.

“Right now, we can’t actually pick up a group in Antigonish and travel anywhere with them because our license prohibits us from doing that,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of calls and a lot of interest from the area, small organizations and church groups, people that don’t have a lot of money to book one of the bigger coach buses. We’ll see what happens with the hearing. We’ll see how it goes.”

MacDonald said the largest bus the local transit groups possess holds 24 passengers whereas the smallest busses on larger charters holds 45 passengers.

“We’re hardly comparing the same kind of groups and the same kind of people who’d be looking to book these busses,” she said. “We’re hopeful that it will be a successful hearing.”

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Antigonish native Matt Draper has been a photographer, reporter and columnist for The Reporter since 2003.