GERTIE Bus Springs Forward

Susan Yates

GERTIE Biographer

Tuesday, April 11 2017

In the next few weeks you’ll see information about fundraising to match the federal-provincial infrastructure grant targeted for the purchase of newer, greener buses. We must match the grant with community funds in order to receive the full amount; this can be done over the next several months and we will include money from the 2016 Village Foods Community Card program and a grant from Mid Island Co-op already put aside for that purpose. 

An inter-island community bus “love-in” is also in the works for the second weekend in July; we hope to have representatives from all of the Salish Sea islands – those with established bus transportation, and islands that are contemplating GERTIE-like systems. We’ve received numerous requests from other communities for advice and assistance on setting up a community bus system and felt this was a natural follow-up to those requests. We’ll see if some bus-worthy solidarity can help with planning, improving and supporting more island public transportation ideas and systems. 

The May long weekend brings many more visitors to our island and that’s when our spring/summer schedule will begin – watch for changes on the website and in our riders’ guides which will be placed in the usual outlets. In anticipation of a busier bus season, we are looking for one or two possible volunteer drivers who might want to train for future permanent positions, or do some casual fill-in as needed. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact GERTIE at gabriolacommunitybus@gmail.com or by phone at 250-668-6809. 

Sometime very soon the 50 thousandth passenger will board a GERTIE bus, and we’ll have an appropriate celebration. Meanwhile, we’re having a contest to guess which day and route that lucky person might get on board. Anyone can enter the contest by hopping on a GERTIE bus or checking the website at www.gertie.ca. An information table at Folklife Village will also be set up very soon.