News release

Province Funds Cape Breton University Proposal for Atlantic Canada’s First Municipal Light Rail

Premier's Office
Photo outside Cape Breton University

Cape Breton University is proposing Atlantic Canada's first light-rail line, with support from the Province. (Communications Nova Scotia / File)

An innovative proposal to bring Atlantic Canada’s first light-rail line to Cape Breton will receive funding from the Province to explore its potential.

For the first time in decades, Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) is managing significant growth after years of population decline. While this growth brings many opportunities, access to reliable transportation and housing near Cape Breton University in Sydney have presented challenges for students, residents and the municipality.

That is why the Province of Nova Scotia is announcing $610,000 to support a feasibility study led by the university to develop a battery-powered light-rail train service in CBRM, building on existing infrastructure and the rail corridor.

“Over the past five years, CBRM transit has done an exceptional job managing this growth, but they need new options. While this new growth phase for CBRM has brought challenges, it also brings an exciting opportunity for solutions that will take the CBRM into the future,” said Premier Tim Houston. “For years, Cape Bretoners have seen the railway sit idle. Now they’re seeing the population grow and the need for more efficient transportation. This project is something to get excited about and bring hope for more connected communities, more housing and more economic development within the CBRM and beyond.”

The study will include consultation with the community. Work is expected to begin immediately.


“I am so grateful to the Houston government for recognizing that we have to find creative ways to address our growth. The cancellation of the subsidy on the Cape Breton rail line has opened opportunities for something new in CBRM that will benefit the community for generations to come.”
— David Dingwall, President, Cape Breton University

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