Upon a visit to Pender Island this weekend, and I discovered a rather interesting local transportation idea being used. Due to the lack of public transportation, the hilly terrain and sprawling remoteness of Pender Island, they had taken it upon themselves to establish the Car Stop.
These reminded my of an official version of Cuba’s ride sharing services, where if you owned a car in Cuba you were obligated to provide a ride to those without. The closest official public transit model for this I can of is the “Dial-a-bus” operating in Sherwood Park, AB.
The map at the bottom of the page shows that the Car Stops were located at the key commercial nodes including the resorts, Driftwood Centre, the island community centre and the ferry terminal. True to its grassroots nature each stop had a different chair provided (in the case above a wicker chair, but sometimes an office chair, bench, etc.), a “Car Stop” sign post, a map of the island’s Car Stops, and the rules as follows:
“Drivers don’t have to take the first in line”
“You’re not obligated to accept a ride, that’s fine”
“You accept a ride at your own risk”
“But the ride is free, so consider it a gift”
With these rules it basically suggests how unreliable it may turn out to be, someone doesn’t have to pick you up, if they do decide to pick someone up they can pick their favorite. The rules basically leave it up to the drivers discretion. The lack of schedules, and the fact that you are not guaranteed a ride from a driver means that this would only work in the odd time. However it is a nice gesture and an added bonus for an island of 2,500 people. Alternatively, they certainly would have enough demand to justify a hourly bus service that looped around the island. The infrastructure is already there!