Bus success hinges on islanders

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News Editor

Monday, June 10 2013

So effective today, Gabriola has the public transit system islanders have been working towards for quite some time.

A huge congratulations has to go out to all of those who have, through personal donations, worked hard to make sure this pilot project got off the ground.

To all the drivers and other volunteers who are giving so much of their own time and money to get the system going.

Steve Earle, Fay Weller, Judith Roux, Bob Andrew and Jim Ramsay in particular have been proponents of this system for a number of years. First lobbying the Regional District of Nanaimo and BC Transit to include Gabriola in the government system. Then (as government inertia failed to make thins happen) in the past two years they have personally funded this system to prove to the powers-that-be that Gabriola Island is a feasible place to operate a public transit system. It should also be acknowledged the financial support provided through the Community Works Fund by the RDN and Regional Director Howard Houle.

In two years, the RDN and BC Transit will be looking at the books, ridership levels and other measures of support. The government will be deciding whether there truly is enough support from islanders to amalgamate the system in to the BC Transit system. Or, should islanders decide, we can continue to go-it-on-our-own so long as the dollars and cents permit it.

But it’s all up to us now. Islanders have built it, now islanders need to support it.