Truro road train on track for 2019 tourist season

The Town of Truro is looking to move ahead with a road train for the 2019 summer tourist season to bring passengers through the downtown and to Victoria Park.

The idea was first presented to council in September, with the proposed train running from Victoria Day weekend until Thanksgiving weekend from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

A report from Business Development Officer Allison Grant to council was circulated to council and referenced in Monday's council meeting.

Truro CAO Mike Dolter says the business community has been contacted over the last few months for sponsorship support, with $24,600 committed in Year 1 of the road train, and $21,600 in both the second and third years.

The sponsorship target per year is $42,500, so $17,900 would be needed in the first year to reach that mark.

Dolter says there is a financial risk associated with the road train, including a projected shortfall of $73,900 in the first year, but told council it would be financially sustainable in Year 3.

He adds that while the road train purchase and capital costs, including startup costs, total $128,900, the road train has projected revenue of $85,000, though no details were given as to where all of that amount would come from.

Dolter says there is significant interest in the business community for a road train, but staff felt it would be best to delay the project until 2019 instead of rushing to start the project this year.

Council passed a resolution to that effect, targeting the 2019 tourist season, with Councillor Tom Chisholm adding it's better to have more time to set it up and get all of the little details figured out.

The idea follows the lead of the successful operation in Tatamagouche.

A road train also operated this past year in Halifax, though city council decided in November to deny $50,000 in municipal funding for the not-for-profit society set up by Ambassatours overseeing the project there.