GERTIE greets autumn in the black!

Susan Yates

GERTIE Biographer

Tuesday, September 23 2014

GERTIE said good bye to July and August in her favourite colour – black! July saw the bus system running $188 in the black, and for August it was a whopping $400.This allowed us to pay back some start-up loans and celebrate success while sweating over the new fall schedule, which is now working well (with a few minor adjustments noted for the next go-round). 

The new schedule matches the fall ferry schedule for the commuter morning and late afternoon runs, and we’ve added a nice little “Haven” jog to the commuter and mid-day runs – a loop around Davis (almost to the Haven), across Harwood, and up Malaspina before continuing to the ferry and village. We’re keeping the added (for summer) Friday mid-day run too, as long as it’s sustainable.  

Riders guides are now distributed to all 31 Gabriola locations and the two ferry booths in Nanaimo, and we thank our sponsors (on the guide) for helping us with this important piece of the GERTIE pie. It’s not always sweet, but it has been fruitful!  

Thanks also to the Village Food Market for provisions for the volunteer bus driver barbecue, held at Bob and Fay’s farmhouse on McConvey (thank you to our generous hosts, too). A beautiful evening it was, with some introductions of new drivers (Jim Palmer, Bob Kapty) and lofty discussions about community-organized (keep it local) systems.  

Doing more with less is one of our guiding principles, and this is particularly true with our waste vegetable oil crew, who have an efficient system that keeps our fuel costs and vehicle emissions significantly low.  Thank you to the GIRO board and staff for helping us in a big way by providing space at the recycling depot for this essential operation, and thank you to our local restaurants who make Gertie-fries and give us their waste vegetable oil.

Congratulations to Carolyn Pickett, who won the monthly bus pass at the Fall Fair, by completing the scavenger hunt and having her name pulled from the Gertie hat.  And congratulations to everyone who helped GERTIE through the inaugural year – we have another year and a half to go before deciding by referendum where/how GERTIE goes in the future; so far, forward looks good!