Established in 2012, the St. Margaret’s Bay Community Transportation Society, operating as BayRides, is a community-based transportation service offering accessible, reliable, affordable door-to-door transportation in the St. Margaret’s Bay area within Halifax Regional Municipality.
A registered charity, BayRides is governed by a volunteer board of directors which is accountable to the members, community, funders and other stakeholders. They are accountable for BayRides’ performance in relation to its mission and strategic objectives, and for the effective stewardship of financial, capital and human resources.
Following the completion of a feasibility study and pre-pilot implementation phase in 2013/14, BayRides officially launched its service in September 2015 with one vehicle, an 8 passenger bus donated by the TD Bank. Our operation has expanded as demand for our service has grown. We now have trained and friendly staff driving our four vans, one of which is an accessible vehicle, and our 12-passenger accessible bus, and Volunteer Drivers using their own personal vehicles.
In the early days, BayRides focused on seniors and other marginalized residents who needed a way to travel within their community. However, our service has grown dramatically and now the majority of our clientele are those still in the working age, especially daily commuters. The first year BayRides started measuring our trips made and kilometres travelled was fiscal year 2016/17. That year our organization made 3,003 trips and travelled 48,768 kilometres. In 2019/20, our organization made 11,256 trips and travelled 204,113 kilometres. That’s a 275% increase in trips and a 319% increase in distance travelled through organic growth.
BayRides provides a vital community service, especially for those who are transportationally disadvantaged, such as seniors, persons with disabilities, and other individuals who are marginalized for geographic, financial or health reasons. Fare subsidies and vouchers are provided when needed to ensure equitable access to affordable community transportation for all residents of the St. Margaret’s Bay area.