By Bruce Dagg
I didn’t have to walk far on Friday morning to interview Scott Alsop (from the 18th Seymour) and Mike Austin (6th Central Surrey) of the Transport Team, as the Media Team shares office space with them, but I still had to wait because they were busy helping people with last-minute changes in departure plans. This busy team of 8 adults and three youth members also includes volunteers from the Vancouver area as well as Whitehorse, Toronto, Alberta, Kelowna, and even one local from Victoria. Special thanks to Robert Warmington for stepping up as youth lead, and Spencer Holbern and Alex Seaborn for their invaluable work in the parking lot!
Scott and Mike told me how the team swells on arrival and departure days by getting people from other teams on site to help with the loading and unloading operations. Scott and some others are starting as early as 3:30 AM on Saturday to get people to some early flights from the Victoria Airport. 26 additional buses have been chartered on the two Saturdays to get people to and from the Victoria airport and Swartz Bay ferry terminal.
They also have 20 volunteers in Tsawwassen helping each Saturday to shuttle people and gear between the ferry terminal and the drop-off/pick-up point at the Tsawwassen Mills mall. Mike works for Coast Mountain Bus Company and asked me to give them a special shout-out for providing four coaches free of charge, all driven by company employees volunteering their time. They also noted that BC Ferries provided deep discounts for walk-on passengers and gear trucks.
Roughly 1400 participants and 300 OOS are using their services for arrival and departure, with the rest coming by private vehicles and buses. Planning for arrival and departure days started in 2017. The team started getting busy in December 2018, when groups were asked to provide travel details online, and read the Travel Handbook on the Jamboree website.
Throughout the Jamboree week the Transport Team has worked closely with the Adventure team to get people to and from off-site activities, or into Sooke for some free time. They have four dedicated transport vehicles (pick-ups and mini vans) and 4 5-ton trucks, plus they run 18 return bus trips a day, using chartered buses, transporting 900 people a day to 8 different locations. They noted that the bus companies have been very accommodating when dealing with last minute change requests.
When you leave site on Saturday, don’t forget to thank the Transport Team for their hard work!