Residents in the small town of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island are starting a citywide carpooling program to help provide for people without cars after the city's underused public transit system was shut down.
"A pilot project that matches people needing a lift with drivers going in the same direction is getting rolling in Qualicum Beach."
"Its proponent, Coun. Mike Wansink, based the Good Samaritan Ride Program on a successful scheme that's been operating since 1971 in Washington D.C., where he attended university in the mid-1990s."
"Now Wansink is hoping a scaled-down program will work for Qualicum Beach, although heavy traffic is rarely an issue."
"'We don't have a rush hour; we don't even have a rush moment,' he quipped."
"'What prompted this is we lost our local transit service in town ... because of lack of ridership. We were averaging something like six or seven riders a day, and it was costing us a ton of money.'"
"The loss of buses left a few people stranded -- a big deal when 20 per cent of the population, or about 700, are seniors who don't drive."