About Us

We provide services to any Shelburne County resident who requests them, placing a priority on helping those with barriers related to age, health, mobility, finances, and lack of support structures access essential services.

To help create communities where everyone can access the services and opportunities they need to lead healthy and connected lives.

Sou’West Nova Transit Association was formed in 2009 with the understanding that access to transportation doesn’t just benefit individual clients; it benefits the County as a whole. In small communities like ours, affordable public transportation is a vital part of keeping us all connected. The service was officially launched in September of 2012.

Sou’West Nova Transit is led by a committed Board of Directors.  The staff includes a general manager, fleet manager, primary dispatcher, dispatch assistant, and staff drivers who drive our fleet vehicles. We also have a team of volunteer drivers who use their own vehicles and are reimbursed for mileage and expenses.

Volunteer Drivers
Using their own vehicles (mileage and expenses reimbursed), our volunteer drivers pick up individual clients at their door and deliver them to directly to their destinations. (Riders using this service must be able to get into and out of a vehicle with little to no assistance.)

Fleet Car
Thanks in part to a grant from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Accessible Transportation Assistance Program (ATAP) our 2019 Chevrolet Impala transports riders who do not require wheelchair accessibility.

Accessible Minivan
Purchased largely through a grant from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Accessible Transportation Assistance Program (ATAP), our 2014 Dodge Caravan is available for accessible travel and general travel. Our minivan is sponsored by Roseway Chrysler and Smith & Watt.

Accessible Van
Purchased largely thanks to a grant from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Accessible Transportation Assistance Program (ATAP) and the support of 100+ Women Who Care of Shelburne County, our 2018 Ford Transit 150 is available for accessible travel and general travel.

New Fleet Car!

Thanks to the Emergency Community Support Fund, as administered by the Community Foundations of Canada and the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, Sou’West Nova Transit was able to add a second new-to-us Impala to our fleet!

Because social distancing is not possible in our vehicles, during the pandemic we are not able to transport more than one rider (or family group) at a time. When you consider that many of the trips that we do involve helping Shelburne County residents access health care in places like Yarmouth, Kentville, Bridgewater and Halifax (which can take a vehicle and driver out of our area for several hours or a whole day!), this considerably affects our capacity and our ability to help those riders who need it most. Being able to add a vehicle to our fleet has been such an incredible blessing, and we are very thankful for this partnership!”

Volunteer as a Sou’West Nova Transit driver!
Access to affordable or subsidized transportation involves much more than moving people from one place to another. Supporting physical and mental health, reducing isolation, building networks, discovering options for funding and help, assisting individuals to maintain their independence and stay in their homes longer are just some of the ways that SWNT works toward our vision: to help create communities where everyone can access the services and opportunities they need to lead healthy, connected lives.

Since its launch in 2012, Sou’West Nova Transit has relied on volunteer drivers using their own vehicles to help meet the transportation needs of Shelburne County residents.

Because specialized medical services are not always available in Shelburne County, riders frequently request trips to Yarmouth, Liverpool, Bridgewater, Kentville and Halifax. Some of these trips can take a driver and vehicle out of our area for several hours, or an entire day, drastically limiting the number of residents we can assist. Fleet vehicles driven by our excellent staff provide accessibility and consistency, but our team of volunteer drivers using their own vehicles is what gives us the capacity to be able to meet the wide variety of travel needs of our riders.

Volunteers are reimbursed for mileage, parking, and meals, and have the flexibility to accept trips that fit with their schedules, whether that be several times a week or simply several times a year.

What makes a great volunteer driver:
Safety first: SWNT volunteers must be committed to the safety of our riders and themselves. They do this by keeping vehicles clean, well maintained and low scent, by navigating hazards around vehicles during loading and unloading, by being careful and conscientious drivers, and by only accepting trips in areas or conditions they are confident driving in.

Caring, compassion and connection: The greatest contributions of SWNT volunteers have very little to do with getting someone from Point-A to Point-B. It is the time spent in between – building connections and catching up on that long drive to Halifax, laughing with our riders on the way to the grocery store, lending an ear after a poor diagnosis, sharing in a rider’s excitement as they travel to a family gathering – that can be the most meaningful, for drivers and riders alike! This in-car connection is an especially important element for riders who are particularly isolated by their rural locations and barriers to transportation. As such, we look for team members that riders will love spending time with and getting to know.

Becoming a volunteer driver is a meaningful and fulfilling way to give back to the community. If you are a kind, positive, helpful person who is an excellent driver with a well-maintained vehicle, we’d love to talk with you about joining our team.

Complete our questionnaire to start the conversation.

Sou’West Nova Transit is funded in part by:
CTAP (Community Transportation Assistance Program), NS-TRIP (Nova Scotia Transit Research Incentive Program), and ATAP (Accessible Transportation Assistance Program), all initiatives of the Province of Nova Scotia’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritages
The Municipality of the District of Shelburne
The Municipality of the District of Barrington
The Town of Shelburne
The Town of Lockeport
The Town of Clark’s Harbour

We have received generous grants for this fiscal year from:
JRB Fundraising Society
The Emergency Community Support Fund, as administered by the Community Foundations of Canada and the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia

We also offer advertising partnerships:  businesses and organizations can place logos on one or more of our fleet vehicles in exchange for an annual fee or in-kind service contribution. If you are interested in partnering with us in this way, please contact us!