by Jan Brubacher, Tofino
It used to be the S.S. Maquinna that brought travellers to the area—now
we have boats, planes, cars, motorcycles, RV’s, bicycles, and
buses doing the trek to the westcoast.
The modes of transport keep evolving as does the popularity of this
westcoast village. More, more, more. More travellers, more surfers,
more and more cars. How will they get here and where will they park?
Maybe they won’t. Maybe they will take the bus.
In the not so distant past, the prospect of taking “the” bus
brought silent screams of “Oh no—not the bus!” Too
long, too many stops. Let me out!”
Dylan Green owner/operator of the Tofino Bus saw the potential of
offering an alternate form of public transport in the form of an express
The basis of the idea was to provide bus travel that was comparable
to driving your own car. I wanted to give people the option to not
drive. Now with the connection to the Harbour Link you can get to Vancouver
faster then if you had your own car.” And, it is easy to bring
a surfboard or a bike—and, there is a package price that makes
The Tofino Bus first run, in June 2002, was from Victoria to Tofino.
There was a good response right from the start with the backpacking,
hostel going, traveller. At the beginning, the Tofino Bus was more
of a hostel shuttle—and then things changed. Last year the Tofino
Bus ran through the winter and more locals tried it and recommended
it to others. This summer was busy and a transition was made—the
Tofino Bus is no longer only a backpacker bus.
There are a lot of people using the Tofino Bus and there will be
more to come and more room. The plan is to move out of vans to buses.
vans are full to capacity and one must make reservations to ensure
a place. With buses there would hopefully be room for drop-ins.
The first bus was a regular gas fuelled vehicle. Then, Dylan realized
he could run a diesel bus on biodiesel—a refined vegetable oil.
So now all the Tofino Buses run on 75% traditional fuel and 25% biodiesel.
The biodiesel, imported from the USA, is made from virgin oils (the sort
you would buy from the grocery store) that are then processed to make
into biodiesel. “The aim is to run all the buses on 100% biodiesel
and the end goal is to source the biodiesel from waste oil from the restaurants
of Tofino. 100% local. In this scenario, “the ecological footprint
would be less” says Mr. Green (it is his real name.)
This summer saw the start of the Beach Bus, the natural progression
in carless travel. The Tofino Bus allowed people to get here without
a car, but then they needed to get around—and this is what
the Beach Bus does. It provides service, gear and all, from Tofino
and points in between like Long Beach, Cox Bay and Tofino airport.
And, does it well. The drivers are friendly
(they wave!) and drive the speed limit (even on the Chesterman Beach
Yep, the Tofino Bus, Beach Bus combo is a good thing.
Multitalented and creative, Jan Brubacher writes films, creates jewelry
and costumes, and convincingly plays the role of mother. For more information on the Tofino Bus visit www.tofinobus.com. or book your ticket online.
Tofino Bus and Beach bus offer alternative transportation to Tofino and connect Tofino with Ucluelet, Long Beach, Cox Bay and Chesterman beach in Tofino.