GERTIE to receive $77,600 for newer buses

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, March 21 2017

GERTIE, the Gabriola Community Bus organization, wll be receiving $77,600 from the provincial and federal governments to be put towards replacing the current GERTIE buses.

GERTIE is one of 26 transportation and infrastructure projects which will benefit from the joint  partnership that will also have funding from local governments - in the case of GERTIE, the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Steve Earle and Fay Weller, representing GERTIE, said the key is that while the curent buses have served GERTIE well, they vehicles are getting to the end of their useful life as public transit buses.

Weller said, “This money allows us to buy second hand buses that are much newer, so much less maintenance, more comfortable, and much more reliable. We do have a plan as laid out in our application. 

The first step will be to take a look at the options available to us in the current market to see what buses best suit the needs of our passengers and our aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through GERTIE’s service.”

Earle said the GERTIE Board, “will be creating a committee right away to decide on our needs and explore the options available to us. The money is for buses only; it is not operating money and will not allow us to expand our services.”

Howard Houle, RDN Director for Gabriola, Mudge and Decourcy Islands, said, “This grant is welcome news it will mean newer buses and lower maintenance cost. GERTIE would not have been able to do this for a few years yet. Congratulations to all that hard work to keep our community bus on the road.”

The governments of Canada and British Columbia are each providing up to $43,522,512 towards 26 new projects that will benefit 26 small communities throughout the province.

The Small Communities Fund provides support for priority public infrastructure projects that deliver on local needs in communities across Canada that have fewer than 100,000 residents.

These investments cover a wide range of community infrastructure projects including green energy systems, solid waste management, drinking water, wastewater management, highways, roads, bridges, disaster mitigation, regional airport improvements and broadband access.