GERTIE ridership up - and over - last year

Susan Yates

GERTIE Biographer

Tuesday, June 26 2018

Sunday, May 20, marked the first Museum/GERTIE collaborative tour, alternating between natural and cultural history. Guide Dana Lewis covered Gabriola’s south end history, pointing out places of historical interest for visitors and residents alike. The Museum/GERTIE trips begin regularly in July; look for the bright orange Explore Gabriola! brochures around the Village; July 8 will be a repeat of the May 20 tour, and the one after that, on July 15, will feature the Amazing Trees of Gabriola, with guide David Boehm from GaLTT.

GERTIE Summer Adventure Guides for walking, hiking, picnicking and bus-riding will soon be available too - watch for them at the usual Village outlets and on the GERTIE website when they are finalized. And speaking of such adventures, three of the GERTIE crew took the inaugural Friday/Saturday evening bus trip to and from Silva Bay, Page’s Marina, the Surf Lodge and the Village. Our round-the-island trip was delightful, thanks to long-time congenial (and very helpful) driver Scott Smith, who took us to see the latest setup at Page’s Marina store, the Li’l Market. These evening runs for GERTIE are now on for every Friday and Saturday, and we hope to get enough passengers to keep them going all summer.

GERTIE’s summertime Camp Miriam shuttles have begun again, and the back-and-forthing between the ferry and Camp Miriam is something GERTIE looks forward to. The children and their counsellors are such a boisterously happy gang and they do our newest bus, the Jay D, proud. 

Trever Gear gets the GERTIE logo set up on the newest GERTIE bus, the Jay D, named in honour of the late Jay Dearman. Derek Kilbourn photo.

The Jay D was also part of the first Tribal Journeys event at Twin Beaches. Special thanks to driver Steve Earle who also helped to launch the Munu Canoe back into the water for its journey southward. GERTIE is proud to have contributed towards raising $4300 for this historic event.

On May 23 several members of the GERTIE crew met with Minister of Transportation Claire Trevena to discuss island transportation networks (not just our island) and ways to support independent community bus systems. GERTIE has now been in operation for exactly five years, and we hope to learn from and help other small communities meet their own social and environmental transportation needs. Our trip with the Minister to various places of interest (Village bus stop, medical clinic, the crazy traffic jam at the 4:15 incoming ferry) was both informative and fun, as so many GERTIE trips are.

At our most recent Gabriola Community Bus Foundation meeting, we were pleased to note that ridership is rising steadily as the busy summer season arrives, and is also higher at this time of year than it was last year, and the statistics to date look as though we’ll have more passengers than ever before over the next few months. With that in mind, we’re also pleased to welcome brand new driver Tom Flynn. With his experience as a bus driver in Vancouver, summer on the island could be a great way to start his GERTIE career!