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Attractions a hop away with new shuttle bus

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At your service: The St George’s Beach Bus, which is providing a regular hop on, hop off service for visitors and locals to want to reach local attractions, including beaches and forts

Getting around to see the sights and beaches of the East End just got easier, thanks to a new minibus enterprise in St George’s.

The hop on, hop off bus service allows visitors and locals to comfortably reach places such as Tobacco Bay, Fort St Catherine and Clearwater Beach if they purchase an all-day $6 ticket.

There has been a need for such a service for a long time, explained Faith Bridges, one of the partners in the new business. She is a co-owner of the olde towne water sports business Just Add Water and also runs some short-term house rentals.

The idea of introducing a half-hourly bus service looping around key locations on the fringe of the town came about from listening to the views of visitors, and from picking up tourists struggling in the heat as they walk along roads radiating out from the town.

“The tourists wanted to see the sights. There are quite a few hills leading out of town, and when it is hot in the summer it can be a struggle for some people, especially if they have kids and push carriages,” she said.

“We decided to contract out the service. It is something we have been talking about for a while.”

The hop on, hop off St George’s Beach Bus is a joint initiative between Just Add Water and the Tobacco Bay management team. The partners are Ms Bridges, Neil Moncrieff, Raymond Walker and Belcario Thomas.

“It’s picking up and the tourists are loving it. We have pamphlets at the VICs (Visitor Information Centres) and hotels,” said Ms Bridges.

There are two minibuses, with one doing a constant half-hour loop starting at Penno’s Wharf, where it can collect visitors arriving by ferry.

The bus then stops at the town square before looping around to Tobacco Bay, Fort St Catherine, Alexandra Battery, Gates Fort, and the joint location of St George’s Dinghy Club and Just Add Water.

Passengers buy a $6 ticket and are then free to hop on and off the bus as many times are they like during the day.

A second bus helps out when needed. There is an afternoon tour of the forts, and also a single run excursion to Clearwater Beach at 11am, with a return shuttle at 3pm.

It is hoped the Clearwater service might expand.

“We have a proposal to the BTA (Bermuda Tourism Authority) asking if they will support us so there can be a third bus to do the loop to Clearwater,” said Ms Bridges.

Although it is still early days for the bus shuttle service, which launched at the beginning of the month, the signs are looking good. Speaking to The Royal Gazette on Friday, Ms Bridges said the service had just had its busiest day since launching.

The beach bus service has a Facebook page and can be reached on phone number 707-5000.

Places to visit: Route map for the St George’s Beach Bus
Take a seat: A bus stop and bench for passengers waiting for the St George’s Beach Bus