Local passenger bus services have been springing up on Gulf Islands in recent years, with new ones in the works. Salt Spring, Gabriola, and tiny Mayne Island all have had success with their buses, with Pender and Galiano Islands now planning pilot projects for limited service.
Gabriola spent 6 years getting theirs off the ground. In 2013, after building support for the idea in the form of a petition signed by hundreds of Gabriolans, figuring out all the details around funding, the choice of vehicle, and insurance coverage for volunteer drivers, they were almost ready to launch. In July of that year they held a “name the bus” vote (GERTIE was the winner), fitted each bus with bike racks, and rolled out both buses on a limited route.
Since then, with their 3-year pilot project complete, Gabriola buses have carried over 43,000 passengers on regular runs from June 2013 to July 2, 2016, and is considered a huge success.
Mayne Island, with a population of about 1000 residents, began their 2-year pilot a month around the same time in the summer of 2013. Using volunteer drivers, the Mayne Island Bus Society established an operating cost of about $8000 annually, funded using donations and fares. The buses operate during specific days and times of the week according to high or low season.
To read more about the Gabriola Community Bus Foundation's journey to get bus service, click here www.gabriolacommunitybus.com/donate/
Read more about the Mayne Island Bus Society here http://www.sustainableislands.ca/single-post/2015/09/11/Mayne-Island-Bus-Society
Looking forward to seeing you all at the Cortes Transportation Study's Open House, Wednesday, November 2, at the Gorge Hall between 6 and 8 pm!
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