A local transportation company has teamed up with Valley establishments to provide a safe, entertaining and affordable way to get around on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer.
The 18-seat limousine bus powered by Ambassador Transportation and Tours hit the roads running in July. Making stops at a dozen venues from Cumberland/Royston through Courtenay and into Comox, patrons of the businesses can ride all night for a flat rate of $10.
“It’s based on the ‘Hop-On, Hop-Off’ tourism buses that some cities have. But instead of stopping at tourist sites, we stop at participating food and drink establishments from Comox to Cumby,” said Kevin East, the driving force behind the Comox Valley Connector and owner of Ambassador Transportation and Tours. “It’s a great way to both pump up the fun around the Valley and keep the roads safe.”
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD) Comox Valley is one of the initiative’s major sponsors. East has been on the organization’s board of directors for the past year. It was his involvement with MADD that sparked the idea.
“We’re always looking for ways to make the roads safer, and this was one way to make a difference locally,” he said.
East notes that more stringent drinking and driving laws have improved the situation but one of the consequences is that less people are going out, so this also encourages both locals and tourists to visit the Valley’s numerous venues.
“Essentially, it’s everyone coming together and getting on board to keep the Valley safe and add some more fun. Riders on the bus get the chance to hit a number of hot spots in one night, MADD is happy that they’re not behind the wheel, participating businesses are excited to get more patrons and even the taxis benefit because they can meet people at their final stop and take them home from there. It’s a win-win-win-win situation!”
The bus starts running at 5 p.m. and makes its final stop at 1:30 a.m. Each full loop takes about two hours. Starting at the Cumberland Hotel, the bus then hits Roy’s Towne Pub, Old House Hotel & Locals Restaurant, Land & Sea Brewing, Church Street Taphouse, BlackFin Pub, Match Eatery and Chances Casino, Prime Chophouse, The Flying Canoe Westcoast Pub, Forbidden Brewing, Gladstone Brewing & Cornerstones Taphouse and, finally, The High Tide Public House.
While on the bus, patrons will be treated to games, trivia and even occasional live music with prizes and swag up for grabs on special events nights.
“This is not a party bus, it’s an entertainment excursion that people of all ages – even kids – can sit back and enjoy. The journey’s as much fun as the destination!”
The plan is to keep running on Fridays and Saturdays until the end of September, but it may go later into the fall with a likely resurrection in December in time for holiday party season.
Depending on demand, East notes that a larger bus or an additional run going the opposite direction may be incorporated. An app that live tracks the bus’ location is also in the works.
For more information about stops and times, check out the Comox Valley Connector Facebook page. Questions can be emailed to email@example.com