New company awarded water taxi contract

Alberni school district signs $140,000 water taxi contract with Tofino Water Taxi.

Alberni school district’s $400,000 annual water taxi bill shuttling students between Meares Island and Tofino will drop to $140,000 this year as a new service provider has been hired.

Last week the school district signed a five-year contract with Tofino Water Taxi, with an option to extend for three additional years. The water taxi service takes up to 12 students per trip from the Village of Opitsaht to their schools in Tofino.

School District 70 secretary-treasurer Lindsay Cheetham said the contract allows for a three per cent annual cost increase to cover inflation.

The contract is for eight trips per day during the school year.

“If there are enough students then the number of trips would increase,” Cheetham said, explaining the school district would have to pay for any extra trips. “We are forecasting 30 students in the first year.”

Cheetham added the reason for eight trips instead of six is because the elementary and high school have different start and end times.

He also said the contract allows for pick-up at three different islands during one trip at no additional cost.

The new contract was initially awarded to West Coast Aquatics last month, but Cheetham explained the company revised their proposal due to an error that company made.

Due to their revision, Tofino Water Taxi was chosen instead.

For the last eight years, the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation was contracted to provide water taxi service on the West Coast, which was subcontracted to an individual.

The school district paid $306,000 in the 2009-2010 school year, $410,000 for 2010-2011 and $400,000 for 2011-2012. A meeting between the First Nation band and the school district was supposed to take place last month, but hasn’t yet.

Superintendent Cam Pinkerton had said that the previous water taxi operator was charging per kid instead of per trip, to explain the high cost.

However, he also admitted that the boat was often half full.

The school district spent $1,700 hiring Qualicum Beach-based Woodsgift Enterprises to write the request for proposal for the water taxi and school bus transportation service on the West Coast. Cheetham said hiring a professional to write the RFP was a must.

“It’s not something we come about very often,” Cheetham said about writing an RFP.

“I’ve never done it before and I’m not sure if Jerry [Linning, former school district secretary-treasurer] did it before.

“It’s not easy as it sounds to write something like that.”

Just Posted

11th annual Magic Cottage kicks off this weekend in Port Alberni

Cottage will be open over two weekends in November

Port Alberni RCMP hold second bike registration event

Project 529 will be at Canadian Tire on Saturday, Nov. 17

Husky Gas Station robbed on Third Avenue

Port Alberni RCMP still searching for suspect

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Port Alberni care homes benefit from funding to purchase new safety equipment

Echo Village and Fir Park Village will be receiving $32,500 each

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read