GERTIE Gathers Good Info For the Fall

Susan Yates

GERTIE Crew

Monday, August 26 2013

Thank you to everyone who offered helpful comments and suggestions during the lively discussions at the Neighborhood Meetings last week. We gathered many good ideas for GERTIE’S fall schedule and the bus service in general, and look forward to having a revised fall schedule available by October 1.  That will give us time to “truth-test” the new schedule and display it at community events between now and early October.

Some highlights from the neighborhood meetings include: more dogs-on-buses talk (we are currently surveying the riders on GERTIE, because the comments re dogs on the bus are equally for and against. One of our enterprising drivers has a carry-cage ready in the event that dogs can ride on GERTIE.

A special return day pass will be given to the Welcome Wagon so that newly-arrived Gabriolans can test-run GERTIE – one of our ‘hood meeting participants informed us that she has been riding GERTIE to work since first arriving on Gabriola a few weeks ago!

There are some very creative ways to make GERTIE work for families on Gabriola – for example, you can ride your bike one way (downhill) and take GERTIE back the other way (uphill). We heard from a few people about shortcuts incorporating the 707 trails and GERTIE – walking, biking, and bussing.

Two families spoke of selling their 2nd car and using GERTIE wherever possible – it’s a brave move for most of us who are so accustomed to that 2nd vehicle, but it sure saves a lot of money – vehicle cost, insurance, maintenance, and parking. 

Parents can purchase a $10 book of children’s tickets for youth age 6-18 and save a bundle on relay trips to the ferry, the beach, the soccer field, etc. 

GERTIE will be traveling to community events in the near future, including the fall fair, where we may have a special announcement about a new image for the yellow GERTIE (whose unofficial name is Thomas). 

For those who are using (and like) the current schedule, the fall routine won’t be much different, but we have made every attempt to include ideas and suggestions from our drivers, the neighborhood meetings, the online survey, and the website.  

One notable change will be the layout of the schedule – we are trying to make it easier to read for everyone! 

Note: the online survey is still up and it’s not too late to complete, and your comments are always welcome on the website: www.gertie.ca.