By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Jan 23, 2015
The owner of a private commuter bus plans to add one more bus to the existing private transit service to Vancouver. Eduardo Torres, the owner of Squamish Connector Bus, said the company will add another 21-seater bus in February.
Squamish Connector operates one bus currently that leaves early morning at 7 am. The plan is to add another bus that will leave at 8 am from the adventure centre.
Torres said the new service would be aimed at commuters who want to be there at 9 a.m. He plans to start the service in the first week of February
“It’s a gamble for me but I also see a lot of cars on the Highway at 8 in the morning,” he said.
Torres is ‘pleasantly surprised’ at the success of his private transit business. Torres started the private commuter bus after moving to Squamish from North Vancouver in October last year.
He had been bringing skiing groups to Whistler in the winter and was familiar with the area. After he moved here, he realised there was a business opportunity for him as he already had a permit with the Ministry of Transportation to operate a private bus.
After a slow start, he has finally reached a point where he can get as many as 17 people in his private bus commuting to Vancouver.
He is also planning to apply to the ministry to allow him stop in Britannia Beach and Horseshoe Bay or Furry Creek. He also plans to add another stop in Brackendale.
He’s also hoping Mayor Patricia Heintzman will be able to write a letter of support to the Ministry of Transportation to upgrade his permit for inter-city stops.
Torres says his business is easy on his conscience as there are at least 20 cars that are not on the Highway every day because of his service, he said.
“Commuters can save money and be part of the solution for the environment,” he said.
Local and regional transit is a popular political issue, but the chances of getting a public transit to Vancouver any time soon are quite slim.
TransLink raised hopes for a Sea to Sky Route in collaboration with BC Transit in 2013. But the route was identified as a medium priority and potential connection was identified in the long term transit plan.
“That is 30 years from now,” said TransLink spokesperson Jiana Ling.
In 2006, the District of Squamish estimated that at least 42% of the working population residing in the District Squamish commuted elsewhere to employment.
As much as 64 per cent of the Green House gas emissions can be attributed to cars, according to a district of Squamish report.