Weather plays havoc with Qualicum Beach shuttle bus
The cool, wet summer has not been kind to ridership on the Shop to Shore shuttle bus in Qualicum Beach, says town councillor Mary Brouilette.
The shuttle, in its second year of operation as a joint initiative of the town and the local chamber of commerce, is designed to bring vacationing beach-goers up from the sandy shore to the shopping district uptown. However, with few people wanting to brave the weather to date, ridership appears to have suffered.
“It has been pretty slow,” she said. “When I seen the buses, I seen maybe four or five people on them. I think because of the weather it’s not like there are a lot of people coming up from the beach because there are not many people at the beach.”
However, although she said the response from the beach has been muted, the response from the community has not.
“We’ve had good comments from residents from the different areas it passes through,” Brouilette said. “That’s where most of the people are coming from, not necessarily from the beach.”
Not all the reviews of the ridership are necessarily negative however. Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce president Peter Doukakis said feedback received at the visitors centre has been positive.
“People are really happy with the route,” he said. “I see it go by regularly and the impression I get is it’s doing very well.”
Doukakis stressed it’s too early to pass a verdict on the shuttle, as the summer is far from over and no firm statistics of ridership have yet been analyzed. However, those figures are being collected.
“We’re not only capturing that, but how long they are here, where they came from, the number in their group and how long they’re here,” he said. “We’re also trying to capture some of the spots they visit, too, so we can find out what they want.”