1. Why is amount to be authorized so much more than the budgeted need?
This is the RDN’s standard procedure for funding by-laws and it is done to avoid the need to keep asking voters for inflation increases. The Gabriola Recreation Society referendum approved up to $235,000, but the society has never used more than $102,000.
2. What is to stop GERTIE from increasing up to the maximum?
GERTIE will continue to be managed by volunteers (the Gabriola Community Bus Foundation) and the GCBF will hold an Annual General Meeting at which funding for the following year will be discussed. Any increase to the budget will have to be approved at that meeting and any Gabriola resident attending the meeting will be able to vote.
3. Why can’t GERTIE continue without taxpayer funding?
Transit systems the world over are subsidized because communities recognize the value of public transportation. GERTIE volunteers have worked hard to organize and manage the service and drive the buses. Finding sufficient volunteer drivers has always been a challenge and is not sustainable in the long term. New jobs will be created on Gabriola, and the whole community will benefit from that. Furthermore, there is a need for maintenance and repair funds to ensure the safety and reliability of our vehicles.
4. What’s in the budget?
Fuel & maintenance: $40,000
Office operations: $ 6,000
RDN services: $ 6,000
Fleet upgrading: $24,000
5. Why should a non-user pay for GERTIE?
A bus is good for the whole community because it provides options for those who can’t afford to own a car, for seniors and for students. The GERTIE bus also provides transportation for tourists, many of whom would not be able to use Gabriola’s shops, restaurants and B&Bs without it.
For more information about the future of Gabriola’s bus please come to our Community meeting and rally on : Saturday January 30th at 2 PM at the Aggie Hall.
If the referendum is not approved, Gabriola’s bus service will cease at the end of May. Every Gabriolan benefits from the GERTIE bus, even those that don’t use it.
Commuters use GERTIE to get to the ferry and to save money and parking hassles
Students not on the school bus route use GERTIE to get to the ferry and the school
People without cars use GERTIE to get to work or to shop in the Village
Seniors use GERTIE to get to the ferry, the shops and to special events
Responsible pub and restaurant goers use GERTIE to get home safely
Tourists use GERTIE to get to the island’s scenic places and to pubs, restaurants and shops
Boaters at Silva Bay use GERTIE to get to the shops in the village or to the Golf Course.
6. Why should renters be able to vote, as they won’t be paying the tax? (question from Facebook)
Renters will be impacted by a rent increase if the landlord increases the rent by the additional amount they pay for property tax . On a home assessed at $200,000, with a monthly rent of $900 the increase would be $2.08.
Renters are members of our community, as are property owners. They should all have a say in what services are available in their community.