About eight months ago a group of islanders formed the Bowen Transportation Society in hopes of supporting a sustainable, long-term commuter express bus and eventually expanding transportation services on and from Bowen. Now we’re actively recruiting members to get this vision off the ground and we need you. Here is everything you need to know:
What is BTS?
BTS is a non-profit organization. It started as a rider support group for the commuter express bus (aka Peter’s bus) to ensure its continuity as it is an essential service for commuters. Peter King has worked for more than two decades serving this community and he’s now looking toward a well-deserved retirement. BTS has collaborated with Peter on a transition plan of the service so we can all continue enjoying the service while Peter transitions to retirement.
So BTS will basically be running the commuter bus?
Yes, that and more! Our mission is to maintain and enhance the transportation offers and services for Bowen Islanders with the end goal of improving the quality of life for the whole island community. Running the express bus is a portion of what we are going to do to achieve our mission. We will continue to partner with the water taxi service to ensure a seamless commute (including reservations).
Additionally, BTS has plans to support some of the transportation needs that are currently not provided on island or that affect island residents. In the short term we are planning on piloting a charter service on the North Shore during evenings to pick up islanders who are working late or for youth with afterschool activities. We are also running a night service on Friday and Saturday nights to support our local businesses and make it more convenient for residents.
We do believe that mid and long term there are other ways in which BTS can provide transportation services to enhance the quality of life in the island. We will work with members to identify and prioritize those needs as well as work closely with key stakeholders (Translink, BC Ferries, BI Municipality).
How can I become a member and what does membership get me?
Right now we’re asking people to buy a $100 membership to kick-start our operation and transition. With the funds received we will continue to offer the service of the commuter bus as well as the additional two services described above. A key element we will invest in is providing our services with a newer and more reliable bus.
Starting in the fall, the vision is for the express bus to run as a member-based organization, like a co-op, however our services will be for everyone and not exclusive. Membership will have its perks (priority reservation, discount prices amongst others), we estimate that you’ll recoup the cost of your membership once you buy ten ticket sheets). It’s easy to join! Go to our website: www.bowenislandtransportationsociety.ca and join.
How can I learn more?
We will be holding our inaugural AGM on July 3 at 6 p.m. in the library to share our plans more in detail. Everyone is welcome to join.