The Town of Qualicum Beach is still looking into subsidizing bus fares within the town for the summer months. — Lauren Collins photo

Qualicum Beach bus route could be free for the summer

Town mulling over free or $1 fares

Qualicum Beach senior staff say the town is hoping to launch free bus rides at the beginning of July.

CAO Daniel Sailland said the goal is to launch at the beginning of next month, but he doesn’t know if the town will hit that mark. The route, Sailland said, would be the new route that loops through Qualicum Beach.

During the June 18 meeting, Mayor Teunis Westbroek said he has asked the downtown business association and the chamber of commerce if they would be interested in sponsoring free rides in the summer. This is a change from Westbroek’s initial discussions of $1 fares for the town during the summer.

RELATED: Qualicum Beach mayor suggests $1 bus rides through town

Sailland told The NEWS the town debated whether or not to go with free rides or $1 fares, but he said some people see cost as a barrier.

“But it’s just easier to say, ‘Get on the bus, it’s free; use it until the end of September,’” Sailland said.

He said the town would work with the downtown business association and the chamber to pay for the fares. The Regional District of Nanaimo transit select committee previously rejected the plan to subsidize rides throughout the RDN this summer, citing an adverse effect on the transit system.

RELATED: $1 bus fare for RDN this summer a no-go

RELATED: Qualicum Beach still pushing for $1 bus rides

“Because of the way it’s structured through the RDN, they can’t do a free run for Qualicum Beach and not for everyone else and especially not just on one run. The option is we cover the cost,” Sailland said.

People would still have to pay in full for the intercity route that goes between Qualicum Beach and Nanaimo, he said.

Sailland said now the town is looking to see how many people could possibly take the free route over the two- or three-month period.

“The worst-case scenario is it’s very successful and costs the taxpayers a few thousand dollars. However, that bus service is subsidized any way.”

But, Sailland said, it could ease local traffic congestion.

“The fact that every 60 minutes you can be in downtown from anywhere around town – we think it’s a huge benefit and could help solve some of the parking strains we see, so we want to change behaviours.”

Send story tips:

Just Posted

VIDEO: Man extracted from vehicle eight hours after accident near Cameron Lake

People making pit stop at picnic area made crash discovery

Parksville man arrested in relation to Mercedes, motorcycle fight

RCMP recommend assault charge for man driving Mercedes

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

BC lawn bowlers clinch national pairs title

Despite rain, QB club calls Canadian event a success

Guitarist explores beyond borders of genre, countries, music, coming to Qualicum Beach

Globetrotting Jesse Cook touring Island, performing in Qualicum Beach Sept. 27

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Browns beat streak, win first NFL game in 635 days

Baker Mayfield erased any doubts about why the Browns selected him with the No. 1 overall pick

New silver collector coin features Indigenous dancer

New silver collectors coin captures fast-paced energy of an Indigenous powwow

VIDEO: Replica Haida totem pole raised at B.C. park

‘Reconciliation ceremony’ will include SFN leaders, provincial politicians

B.C. woman with autism has scooter stolen from SkyTrain station

Kayla Polege purchased scooter after ‘shutdowns’ on transit

Off Nova Scotia, a bid to ‘unravel the mystery’ of great white sharks

The question: Is Nova Scotia the second mating site for Atlantic white sharks, something scientists say could be key to protecting the endangered species.

Man arrested after carjacking, collision, pepper spray attacks in Vancouver

Vancouver police say one man is in custody after a chaotic scene of events in the downtown core

Canadian investigator says World Anti-Doping Agency got a bad deal from Russia

A Canadian lawyer says the World Anti-Doping Agency rushed into accepting a bad deal by reinstating the country’s drug-testing program.

Fashion Fridays: Rock some animal print

Kim XO, lets you in on the latest fall fashion trends on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read