Join fellow Islanders and give rural transit a shot
An experiment that started in April 2022 has become a way of life for Candy Handrahan.
The Surface Water Technician supervisor with the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action said she wanted to do her part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“To help the environment and to do my part, practice what I preach,” she said.
So Candy decided she would start taking the bus to work.
“I catch the bus in Souris at 6:17 am to get to work for 8 am in Charlottetown and I do it every day.”
However, it wasn’t a good start.
“I missed my pick up…twice,” she says laughing, “but then I started asking questions and found out exactly what I needed to know to get where I needed to be. It’s been easy ever since.”
The Province of Prince Edward Island is committed to developing a province-wide integrated public transportation system. With transportation being one of the largest sources of carbon emissions in the province, this initiative is an important step to building a lasting culture of public transit in PEI.
Now with nearly 12,000 riders this October, rural transit is taking as many as 150 personal use vehicles off the road per day.
Candy said taking the bus may take a bit more planning, but for her, it is worth it.
Her monthly bus pass is $20 a month and said she probably saves more than $600 by not taking her vehicle.
But more than that, Candy says she never has to worry about driving in bad weather, cleaning or digging out her car, heavy traffic or having car trouble. And she never needs to spend time searching for a parking space.
“I get on the bus, coffee in hand and for the next hour and 45 minutes I have that time to do whatever I want: read a book, plan my day or talk to my neighbours.”
One of the best things about the bus is all the new friends you meet. “There are about 8-10 of us who travel the same route and it is great to see them every day.”
Candy has become a great promoter of travelling the bus, telling many people how easy, cost-effective and comfortable it is.
“I even got my dad to take the bus from Tignish to Souris to visit me,” she said. “Travelling in heavy traffic and maneuvering the roundabouts can be tricky, but for $2 he can ride on the bus and visit me for the day.”
Candy says taking the bus just makes sense. She takes the Transit PEI bus as far as she can into the city, and then transfers to the City of Charlottetown bus to get to her workplace on Maypoint Road. She encourages people to ask questions and find the best routes . She said booking online is simple and you are always assured of a seat.
“I love the bus!” says the naturally vivacious Candy.
Transit routes have expanded during the holiday season, with additional runs on Saturdays in December including a new run from Georgetown to Charlottetown on Saturdays.