New bus service brings workers, visitors to the north shore
Sandi Lowther knows that transportation challenges often make it difficult to fill key tourism-related jobs on the Island’s north shore.
Lowther and several other business owners in the Cavendish area have collaborated with the provincial government, Discover Charlottetown, Tourism Cavendish Beach, and the Resort Municipality to create the City Beach Express. The bus service makes traveling between Charlottetown and Cavendish more affordable for workers and visitors with its three trips each day.
“There are plenty of jobs available, but in a seasonal, rural community like Cavendish, there aren’t enough locals to fill those jobs,” said Lowther, who chairs Tourism Cavendish Beach and owns a number of properties in the area. “Factor in the cost of travel, and the further away someone lives, the less attractive those jobs become.”
The City Beach Express is timed so workers can make morning and evening shifts and have transportation home. There are a number of pick up and drop off locations on the north shore and in Charlottetown to provide greater options for travellers. A round trip is $25 for travellers. Workers from sponsoring businesses pay $10.
“The cost of travel can be a big determining factor when choosing employment or choosing a day trip,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald said. “By reducing the cost for people to travel we help supply additional workers who wouldn’t otherwise take a job in the area. It’s also an affordable option for tourists who do not have access to a vehicle but want to visit this part of the north shore or Charlottetown.”
“Making it easy for potential employees to get to work has been an ongoing challenge for tourism operators across the province,” Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Sonny Gallant said. “When a number of partners come together to identify a need, we can implement solutions like this one that benefits businesses and workers.”
Five local businesses contributed a total of $5,500 to help subsidize the cost of the service for their workers. In total, the provincial government provided $35,000 to help fund the project and to give the bus itself a unique, identifiable look. In addition, Tourism Cavendish Beach, the Resort Municipality, and Discover Charlottetown provided $5,000 each to support the project. Prince Edward Tours will operate the service.
“The Resort Municipality is pleased to support this important initiative and invest in connecting visitors, employees and businesses,” Chair of the Resort Municipality Matthew Jelley said.
"Discover Charlottetown is very excited to be part of this project and help visitors see more of the Island, in a unique way," Chair of Discover Charlottetown Lee Drake said. "Visitors Staying in Cavendish can now visit Charlottetown for supper and entertainment, and then take the bus back to Cavendish. This is a great example of a tourism success story when groups work together.”
For more information, visit City Beach Express.
Department of Economic Development and Tourism
Tourism Cavendish Beach