Gabriola Island transit referendum slated for February

NANAIMO – Current money set to run out on pilot project.

A referendum on funding transit on Gabriola Island is set to take place in February, according to Howard Houle, the island’s Regional District of Nanaimo director.

Gabriola’s Environmentally Responsible Trans-Island Express, the island’s community bus service pilot project, is paid for with federal gas tax money. Funding is set to expire in June, and there are no transit hours available through B.C. Transit for bus service.

Houle said it will need to paid for through taxation and that will need the support of Gabriolans.

The regional district approved the referendum bylaw in September, which was sent to the B.C. inspector of municipalities for approval. Houle said he hasn’t heard back from the inspector yet, but is still anticipating a February referendum.

“I’m hoping the community is going to vote in favour of it because I think it’s a needed service on Gabriola and it’s been very well supported,” Houle said.

The referendum question asks if electors are in favour of establishing the transit service within Electoral Area B and an annual tax requisition “up to a maximum of the greater of $250,000 or 25 cents per $1,000 of net taxable value of land and improvements.”

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