West Qualicum Beach and Eaglecrest will each be getting community bus routes with a smaller bus which seats between 21 and 25 people. The routes will be coming to the town Sept. 3. — NEWS file photo

Qualicum Beach bus routes coming Sept. 3

West Qualicum Beach, Eaglecrest community buses planned

It’s about to get a little easier to take public transit in Qualicum Beach residential neighbourhoods.

The two new bus routes will be coming to the town Sept. 3.

The 98 Qualicum Beach will run Monday-Friday and Saturday with slightly different stop times during the weekdays compared to Saturday. Stops will include Ravensong Aquatic Centre, Crescent Road West at Arbutus Road and Island Highway across from Beach Terrace.

The 97 Eaglecrest will run Monday-Friday and Saturday with slightly different stop times during the weekdays compared to Saturday. Stops will include Ravensong Aquatic Centre, Country Club Drive at Fairway Drive and Memorial Avenue at Fern Road West.

The Regional District of Nanaimo started collecting input for the bus routes in October of last year. At the time, RDN director of transportation and emergency planning services Daniel Pearce said the feedback received was that most people wanted to see more transit in the region.

Originally a new route was planned for Columbia Beach.

In a Qualicum Beach committee of the whole meeting on March 15, councillors Anne Skipsey and Bill Luchtmeijer wondered why there weren’t stops near Qualicum Beach Elementary School, the tourism area along Highway 19A toward Laburnum Road, and the airport.

At the time, Pearce said tourism is a secondary market and, while transit has had established routes since the 1960s, it hasn’t been successful in those market places.

The 98 Qualicum Beach does travel along Highway 19 but has stops only at Memorial Avenue and Beach Terrace. The route doesn’t go quite as far as Laburnum Road and the elementary school.

The 97 Eaglecrest bus runs along Rupert and Bennet roads, but there isn’t a stop at the airport.

For more information, and times and locations for the routes, visit www.rdn.bc.ca.

lauren.collins@pqbnews.com