timeline

1990’s

Early initiatives include surveys, community petitions, bus, training.

1999

Assessment of demand for transit 1999 recommended service for Gabriola.

2002

Further assessment results in report recommending Scheduled service with a fixed payment per trip and locally based transportation provider.

2008

Gabriola Transportation Survey: 800 Gabriola residents participated in a mail-out survey.  very positive response indicating strong support for public transit.

Public meeting & support through climate change dividends for public transit close to $7,000.  Public Transit task force established

2009

Based on community input, Sustainable Gabriola identifies public transit, cycling and walking as key components for an environmentally sustainable transportation strategy.

Public Transit Working group (originally set up as the task force) develops routes, schedules, budgets and potential governance models, providing advice to BC Transit for their feasibility study.

BC Transit draft study recommended implementation of two bus system + taxi-saver. Initial report is shelved awaiting further research

2010

BC Transit publishes its Feasibility Study into transit on Gabriola in November 2010, proposing a combination of fixed-route and flexibly routed services as well as taxi saver.

2011

RDN Transit Select Committee recommends RDN Board to direct staff to include Gabriola as part of considerations for proposed service expansion.

RDN Board directs staff to develop the business case and present a proposal for inclusion in the Transit Business Plan

2012

RDN launches Transit Future Plan to gather district-wide input into the development of a new 10-year Transit Business Plan.

Public Transit working group submits an initial bid to RDN for Community Works Funding to establish a pilot community bus scheme to demonstrate demand for transit

November 2012

Everyone interested in a Gabriola Community Bus Service is encouraged to attend the public meeting at The Commons on Saturday November 24th at 1:30 p.m

December 2012

Members of the Gabriola Community Bus Committee collect hundreds of signatures on a petition to support the application for Community Works funding for the new community bus

January 2013

A total of 735 signatures and messages of support from Gabriola residents accompany the application for Community Works Funding submitted to RDN Regional Director, Howard Houle

April 2013

Our funding application goes to the RDN Regional Board for approval.

Meanwhile, on Gabriola, the community votes in a competition to choose a name for the new service.  The clear winner is GERTIE (Gabriola’s Environmentally Responsible Trans-Island Express). GERTIE is born!

May 2013

GERTIE’s two buses – a Sprinter minibus and a Thomas 24 seater schoolbus – are prepared for service

Summer 2013

GERTIE takes to the road! After a week of free trial operation, GERTIE is officially launched on June 8th. Pictures of the event are on the Gallery page.

GERTIE’ buses initially run on two routes – a circular route to Silva Bay and a cross-island route linking Berry Point, the village and Whalebone.  After a few minor tweaks, the schedule runs all summer. Click on the thumbnails below to see how our initial services operated:

june15Abjune15middayjune15

Over the summer, we’ve watched the number of passengers using GERTIE services grow steadily. By the end of September, GERTIE buses were carrying an average of 4 passengers per hour; during October that’s grown to 5.4 passengers per hour. The chart below shows passengers carried each week from the start of service up to the end of September.

week16

Fall 2013

At the end of September, GERTIE services were modified in response to public requests and to match more closely the pattern of demand.  To see how the number of passengers using our services has grown since then, visit the how are we doing? page. During October we purchased a second Sprinter minibus, which will enter service in November. The larger bus (“Thomas”) will continue to be used for community events and to provide a spare bus whenever it may be needed.