Summer was not kind to the bus trip schedule. Despite the best efforts of Rick and Kathleen, hot weather, ferry delays and lack of ridership caused several trip cancellations. We are certainly underutilising the bus and it therefore is a financial drain. However, we are confident by adjusting the booking policy and the pricing, expanding the trips offered and opening it up to third party rentals, we can make the bus a positive contributor socially and financially. In the past, with the ferry trips, we had to make last minute cancellations for various reasons. Unfortunately, when this is the case, not only do we inconvenience the driver, but we lose our $50 reservation for not cancelling the ferry booking 5 days in advance. To remedy this, we have had to put a 7 day advance booking requirement, to allow for timely cancellation when insufficient passengers have paid. Because there is considerable cost to maintaining and operating the bus, we must approach each trip with the expectation of making some profit. In the year to date from January 1st the bus has made a loss of $1,119.22. To that end we must have a minimum of 15 passengers for each trip, and therefore we will need to make destinations appealing to that number.

Pricing: With trips involving the ferry, the price per passenger was $45 for 65+yrs and $50 for <$65yrs. A BC senior has the passenger fee waived (currently $13.70) if travelling on Monday through Friday. Whereas, we must pay that fee for <65yr olds, and out of province seniors. The previous pricing essentially penalised 65+yrs passengers. We have changed the pricing to redress this imbalance.

From October 1st the cost will be reduced to $40 for 65+yrs and increased to $55 for <65yrs, out-of-province seniors and guests. If you wish to bring a guest, they can be waitlisted and then added into any empty spaces available at the time of the 7 day advance booking requirement. This will ensure that our members are accommodated first.

Destinations: In the schedule below, we have a few local trips planned. If you have any ideas for local trips that would be viable, please let us know. Currently the trips to the casinos have been successful. However, what we have done with proposed casino trips is to add a second nearby retail drop off and pick-up in the hope of enhancing ridership (IKEA or COSTCO). We know that Vancouver-based cultural events such as concerts, shows and plays would be tremendously popular. But we cannot offer them because we only have one driver. So, if passengers bought tickets for events and then on the day of the event the driver gets sick, the bus can’t go. We desperately need back-up bus drivers. A driver would need an unrestricted class 4 license and a criminal record check. If we can get more drivers, we can mount some stimulating trips to Vancouver and other cultural destinations.

Rentals: We are also making the bus available for rental to non-profits, schools, and community organisations. Costs would be $60 per hour, $540 a day including driver; or $400 without driver.

Booking Policy: For all trips 15 passengers minimum. Bookings must be paid for 7 days in advance. Guests permitted if there are open seats 7 days in advance. Cancellation 6 days in advance if minimum passenger count of 15 is not met.

Cost: For ferry trips, Monday to Friday: $40 65+yrs BC residents, $55 <65yrs, 65+yrs non-BC residents & guests. Local trips priced individually.