Tourism Cavendish Beach announced a two-year pilot project during its general meeting last night that will see public transit offered between Charlottetown and the resort municipality.
The “City-Beach Express” will see a 20-seat van offer three rounds trips from Charlottetown to Cavendish every day this summer from June 23 to Sept. 3.
Darcy Butler, executive director of Tourism Cavendish Beach, said the group began working on the project a year ago after hearing that employers were having difficulties finding seasonal employees with reliable transportation.
“This is a solution we hope will help. We’ll have to see how things go this year, but it’s our hope it will be successful,” said Butler, noting the service will also be available to tourists.
“The visitor side of things is also going to help sustain it long-term.”
Sandi Lowther, president of Tourism Cavendish Beach, envisioned the project taking off.
“I have a feeling this is something that’s truly going to grow in demand both from the labour market as well as with our visitors,” said Lowther. “I’m pretty pumped about this.”
The association marked $59,500 in its 2017 budget for the pilot project.
Butler noted the project required the support of a number of partners, including operator Coach Atlantic Group, as well as Discover Charlottetown and the Resort Municipality of Cavendish.
There was also support from the province, while a number of industry partners made a financial commitment to pay for the first year.
Those industry partners were Maritime Fun Group, Fairways Cottages, Parks Canada, Green Gables Golf Course and The Gables of P.E.I.
Butler said there will be a number of stops along the route, which will do the loop through Stanley Bridge and possibly stop in North Rustico and New Glasgow.
“We’ll play it by ear based on the need, but we do have the opportunity,” said Butler, who also said there would be opportunities to increase the shuttle size. “If we have the demand, we’ll adjust as we need to.”
Projected stops include the Cavendish Visitor Information Centre, main beach and boardwalk, Shining Waters, Sandspit, Green Gables Golf Course, Green Gables House, The Gables of P.E.I. and Fairway Cottages.
Projected Charlottetown stops include Founders’ Hall, Confederation Centre of the Arts, Confederation Court Mall, Maritime Bus, UPEI’s student union building, the Charlottetown Mall and Winsloe Irving.
Butler said tickets will be available for purchase online through Maritime Bus and that more information, including cost, will be available online before the project begins.