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Gabriola bus service celebrates 100,000th passenger


Gabriola Island’s Stephen Levesque (pictured with his two sons) was the 100,000th passenger on the island’s GERTIE Community Bus.


Submitted photo

Gabriola Island’s community bus service celebrated its 100,000th passenger Saturday, 6½ years after it began carrying island residents around town.

Deemed too small for the B.C. Transit service, Gabriola began its own volunteer-run community bus service with a little funding from the regional district. After a transit referendum in 2016, the bus began to receive property-tax support and became a permanent fixture, said Steven Earle, a board member with the Gabriola Community Bus Foundation.

Three small buses operate six days a week in the morning, mid-day and late afternoon.

“We’d really like to expand service hours to fill in the gaps during the day, but we need some support from the government to help out,” said Earle.

The 100,000th passenger, Gabriola resident Stephen Levesque, rode the bus on Wednesday at 10 a.m. He received a free annual pass and gifts from island retailers during a Saturday afternoon celebration.

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