Monday, February 12, 2007

The Other Border Radio

The term "Border radio" Is almost always assumed to mean our southern border. But the lower 48 states boarder two nations. Both Canada and Mexico license radio very differently than us. In this case I refer to information radio. Our information stations are everywhere, they cover parks, tourism, travel, traffic, weather safety etc. But Canda only has three.

The CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Corporation) just isn't cold on the idea. One of those three places is St. Stephen, New Brunswick. ...and what's so special about St. Stephen?

Well, it's directly across from Calais, Maine and there is a very popular bridge between the two for passing between the two countries. (Minor mention here.) The line of cars is very long and as you can se on this map marking the poorly planned snaking path, you can see why it takes forever. To be honest, I can say from experience that the search portion of the passage at the crossing takes mere minutes. The obstruction of the journey is the nutty snaking of the road there, like at the airport metal detector.

So, despite the fact that St. Stephen on their side of the border is so small it only has one radio staitn of it's own (the U.S. side has 4) It was the Canadians that swooped in to broadcast traffic and travel information to the stranded travelers.

Here are the four Canadian information stations. You'll notice it's all related. The 4 stations reach between the crown of maine and a the smallest province of Canada. Apparently American tourists are trusted to travel throughout the rest of Canada unmanaged, but this northern passage requires a little assistance.

96.5 St. Stephen Information Radio, (St. Stephen, NB) Play loops of customs and border crossings, weather and local St. Stephen tourist info. They have signs along US1 in Calais, Maine, asking you to tune to 96.5 for customs info. No calls are ever used.

90.1 Central Nova Scotia Information Radio. Covering an area between between Amherst and Truro they run tourist information, weather, traffic reports. It can be heard along the Trans-Canada highway throughout western Nova Scotia. There are signs along the Trans-Canada advertising this station.

101.9 Moncton Information Radio, (Moncton, NB) It too runs local traffic reports weather and local information.

93.9 Confederation Bridge Information Radio, (Prince Edward Island) It runs traffic reports for the eleven mile bridge to PEI. It's programming is very similar to the other FM stations above.