Six attractions on the Saanich Peninsula have teamed up to launch a free hop-on, hop-off shuttle service and it kicked off over the Canada day long weekend.
The Peninsula Shuttle is a reimagined version of a pay shuttle service that began in the summer of 2012. This year the service will be free and will connect both tourists and locals to the Peninsula’s most popular attractions.
“We started it at the beginning of last summer it was fairly well used as a pay service, but the ridership went up when we went to a free service,” explained Matthew Butterfield, the public relations official for the Peninsula Shuttle. “So this year again we’re hoping for increased ridership as we’re starting off with a free service. We really want to see people using it, whether it’s tourists or residents.”
Butterfield said the initiative to start a shuttle service was brought to the table with the intention to bring more visitors to the attractions that may not be as easy to get to on public transportation.
“The reason we did it was to bring people to our properties,” he said. “We were really fixing the one cog in the machine that wasn’t working by providing this missing transportation link to our properties.”
The shuttle stops at the six locations of the attractions who are funding it: Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa, Butchart Gardens, Victoria Butterfly Gardens, Church and State Winery and Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse.
“It runs all day long from 9:50 a.m. to about 5:30 p.m. as well as we have a second bus that does pick-ups at the two ferry terminals, B.C. Ferries and Washington State Ferries,” Butterfield said.
The service is operated by CVS Sightseeing and will also augment the company’s existing Butchart Gardens shuttle from downtown Victoria.
“We needed to do this to get people to our properties,” said Butterfield.
“It was an important aspect that was missing.”
For more information and schedules for the shuttle which will run until Sept. 3, visit www.peninsulashuttle.ca.