During a council meeting this week, Central Saanich council and staff heard about a new endeavor by the Peninsula Recreation Commission (PRC) to offer a free shuttle on the Saanich Peninsula.
The shuttle, which will run on a one-season trial basis from the last week of June through until the end of August, will be funded from the PRC’s reserve fund and is estimated to cost around $45,000. Any sponsorship or donations to the program would be used to reduce the amount used from the reserve.
“It will allow people to get to the recreation facilities and allow students from other areas on the Peninsula to enjoy programming at places like Panorama and Greenglade,” said Councillor Carl Jensen, who is also Chair of the PRC.
The PRC approached council for their thoughts on the shuttle but ultimately do not need their approval to run the service or use the reserve funds to operate it.
“This is an opportunity to take a chance on something and try it out by looking at it on a test-run basis,” said Jensen, after questions were raised by Councillor Zeb King.
King had wondered to whether the shuttle was replacing a job B.C. Transit should be doing better.
“I just wonder if this is something we should be looking at when we perhaps we could be working to get better transit coverage,” said King.
The shuttle will operate as a free service, noted the Community Shuttle Bus group representative and General Manager of Butterfly Gardens, David Roberts.
Roberts was one of the key members in starting the Peninsula Attractions Connector shuttle on the Peninsula last year which took visitors around to various attractions on the Peninsula including Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse, Butterfly Gardens, the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre and Butchart Gardens.
He said the idea for the free community shuttle came about when the group noticed a major need for east/west transportation on the Saanich Peninsula.
“But this is an entirely separate project from the Peninsula Attractions Connector,” he clarified to the gallery.
For more information on the community shuttle, visit www.peninsulashuttle.ca.