Fraser Health is launching its own shuttle bus to connect its health facilities in north Surrey.
The three-month pilot project dubbed the Central Surrey Health Shuttle began service Tuesday between King George SkyTrain station, Surrey Memorial Hospital, the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre and Fraser Health’s Central City offices.
The shuttle runs every 30 minutes from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays for ambulatory patients moving between sites, as well as health authority staff, doctors and volunteers.
“Mobility between sites can sometimes be very challenging and this shuttle service will make travel between these different facilities smooth and stress-free,” said Jeffery Young, Fraser Health’s executive director of integrated protection services.
“This ‘green’ travel option reflects our commitment to the environment as well as our patients and staff.”
The exact cost of the shuttle program will depend on what form it takes after the pilot project – assuming it continues – but spokesperson Tasleem Juma said the current cost is $39 an hour, or $141,000 a year.
She said the cost to Fraser may go down if the service is cost-shared by the RCMP, whose officers and staff could use the direct link from SkyTrain to the new E Division headquarters being built near the Jim Pattison centre.
Juma said parking can be tricky at some of the sites during ongoing construction, so the shuttle can staff and patients’ commute easier, while encouraging reduced carbon footprints and healthier living.
Fraser Health has no plans so far to run similar shuttles at other health sites in the region.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has its own shuttle linking Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul’s and B.C. Children’s and Women’s Hospital.