The City of White Rock’s free shuttle began running along the waterfront April 6, with service scheduled to continue until Sept. 30. (City of White Rock image)

White Rock’s unnoticed free shuttle ‘runs empty’

City working with operator of waterfront bus to address advertising needs

A White Rock councillor says he’s concerned money spent on White Rock’s free waterfront shuttle service is going to waste due to lack of signage on the white minibus that started doing runs along Marine Drive last month.

“I don’t think anyone can recognize it, with the comments I’ve been hearing from people,” Coun. Grant Meyer told Peace Arch News Thursday, noting he’s been hearing from residents who have noticed it “go back and forth empty.”

“One fellow rode it and the (driver) said, ‘Oh, you’re my first customer this week…’ It’s a little disappointing, to say the least. We spend all this money…”

The shuttle began operating on April 6 and is scheduled to continue – seven days a week, noon to 8 p.m. – through Sept. 30, to “help people move along the waterfront strip during the revitalization of Memorial Park and construction of the new parkade,” according to the city’s website.

Depending on traffic, it makes about three round-trips between East and West Beach per hour, with stops at Lee and Balsam streets, as well as at the White Rock museum and Bayview Park. It does not offer service outside of Marine Drive.

The initial budget of $100,000 was increased by $11,000 last month “after an RFP process and adding expenses such as signage.”

City communications manager Farnaz Farrokhi said the signage noted in the budget update referred to bus-stop signs that had to be created.

City staff “have also noted that there needs to be more signage on the shuttle bus,” Farrokhi said, adding the operator “may need to use the shuttle in other areas of Metro Vancouver, therefore, we are working with them on additional signage that meets both our needs.”

Meyer said a requirement for “significant signage,” at least eight inches high, should have been part of the RFP. He suggested removable magnetic decals would allow the bus to be used in other areas.

Farrokhi said it is too early to assume that a lack of signage on the bus is impacting the shuttle’s ridership. Based on last year’s trolley numbers, ridership was anticipated to be lower in April and May.

“The numbers in June and July are the ones that will be telling and we’ll be happy to share those with you,” she told PAN by email Thursday.

Efforts are underway to create greater awareness of the service, Farrokhi added.

Marine Drive business owner Tyson Blume agreed more advertising is needed.

Blume contacted PAN Thursday to comment on the issue. He praised the city for the service, but said he wished more people knew about it.

“I know that when I mention it to customers, nobody’s aware of it,” Blume said. “I feel like it’s just under-advertised. Conceptually, it’s wonderful.”

 

Signage on White Rock’s courtesy waterfront shuttle is inadequate, says a city councillor. City officials say efforts are underway to increase awareness of the service. (Contributed photo)

Map of the city’s courtesy shuttle route. (City of White Rock graphic)

Just Posted

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

VIDEO: Surrey hair salon joins sustainability initiative

Hair can be used to create boom to clean up oil spills: Green Circle Salons

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Vancouver Police look for man in connection to ‘sexually motivated’ assault

Woman says man followed her into an apartment building

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Most Read

l -->