I am happy to share the good news that, after a long hiatus, bus hikes will be returning later this year.
We are privileged to work with First Student as our preferred bus company. With Covid -19 restrictions in place the maximum capacity that a bus will hold is 42 hikers; this number includes the hike leader and co-leader. The first row (taking up four seats) must remain clear. All hikers are required to wear masks on the bus, and, as explained in more detail below, must show proof of vaccination.
Registration will start one week before each bus trip. Bus fares will be paid online at the time of registration. Bus fares will be non-refundable except in the case of trip cancellation.
I am grateful to the Bruce Trail Conservancy for the valuable suggestions and assistance. In particular I am indebted to Tom Thayer and Ryan Micheloff for their support throughout the planning and execution of the new registration system. I also thank Margaret Corner, Treasurer and David Rowney, Communications, TBTC Board of Directors. Thanks are extended to Martina Furrrer and Wayne Crockett who went out of their way to help. I also acknowledge the many hike leaders over the years who have put a great deal of effort into developing our bus hike program.
Proof of vaccination mandatory for TBTC bus and coach trips
In line with Provincial vaccine mandates, the Toronto Bruce Trail Club has made the decision that you will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID in order to participate in the Bus and Coach hiking program. This decision has been made by the TBTC Board of Directors as part of its duty to protect the health and safety of our club members and volunteers to the best of our ability.
Our COVID-19 health protocols remain in place for all hikes. These protocols include masking, physical distancing, health self-screening and contact tracing. To participate in bus and coach trips, members also need to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated.
Bus Fare Pricing
The Board also approved a price increase for bus hikes. This is necessary because we have incurred price increases from First Student in both 2020 and 2021, as well as additional bus cleaning fees.
The TBTC Board of Directors approved the following fare schedule:
Regular Bus Hike Fare
Non- Member $32
Child Member $10
Child Non-Member $14
Long Distance Bus Hike Fare (total round trip distance is greater than 240 km)
Child Member $14
Child Non-Member $18
Cancellation of Regular and Long-Distance Bus Hikes
The TBTC Board of Directors have also approved cancelling a regular bus hike when there are fewer than 27 hikers (including the leader and co-leader) registered two days before the bus hike.
Similarly, any long-distance trip where there are fewer than 32 hikers (including the leader and co-leader) registered two days before the hike will be cancelled.
The responsibility for cancelling a hike rests solely with the Hiking Director. When a hike is cancelled the club will refund bus fares to all who have already registered.
Winter Coach Program
We are thrilled to announce that we are resuming our Winter Coach Program. This is now possible as a result of the Club decision to restrict bus and coach hikes to members who provide proof of vaccination. In the November E-Notes Martina Furrer, our Winter Coach Coordinator, will provide more information about our Winter Ski and Snowshoe Coach Program, including our Winter Weekend Trip to Val David, Quebec.
After more than 18 months of pandemic living, I look forward to enjoying better, healthier and more socially connected days ahead.
— David Royle