About BC Ferries

Southern Gulf Islands Schedule Consultation

BC Ferries announces new Southern Gulf Islands schedules for 2017


BC Ferries will be introducing two new Salish Class vessels, the Salish Eagle and the Salish Raven, in the Southern Gulf Islands region in 2017. These sister-ships, powered by natural gas, will allow BC Ferries to better match capacity with demand, while contributing to fare affordability and sustainability.

In April 2015, BC Ferries embarked on a four phase consultation process with customers to develop sailing schedules that meet the needs of communities on the following islands: Salt Spring, Galiano, Pender, Mayne and Saturna. The process included surveys, public meetings and small working group sessions.






New Schedules Published - Phase 4

After reviewing the valuable feedback and the extensive research results, BC Ferries made the changes and adjustments to the various schedule options that were proposed through the phases of the process. The final schedules support our customers’ desire for sailing times and routing that more closely model the current schedules, with added improvements that ferry users will appreciate. BC Ferries strove to preserve many of the benefits of the schedules presented at the public open houses, while addressing concerns raised by others at those meetings.


New 2017 Schedule Highlights

Travel to and from Tsawwassen

  • In the peak season, there will be more sailing opportunities and a 46% increase in capacity in the system. Inter-island connections are maintained on weekdays and there are more direct sailing opportunities on the weekends. The new schedules with two Salish Class vessels will result in increased sailing opportunities.

  • Before and after the summer, the second vessel continues to operate offering a better balance of capacity with demand, primarily boosting weekend service with additional sailings and capacity. This shoulder season service (pre and post summer) has been expanded to start at the beginning of May and finish on the Thanksgiving weekend.

  • The off-peak schedules remain similar to the current service with additional sailings on busy days and new timings to facilitate connecting sailings.

Travel to and from Swartz Bay

  • Swartz Bay to Southern Gulf Island service has been optimized to work with the new Salish Class vessels.

  • Adjustments to the schedule during the busier months will help in maintaining on-time departures and arrivals.

  • The larger vessel will stop more often at ports where there is greater demand.

  • Departure times have been adjusted to allow for Tsawwassen connections.

  • A pilot program for Thru Fare customers (Tsawwassen travellers going via Swartz Bay) was introduced to improve the connectivity to Southern Gulf Island ferries.  Early indications are very positive and the pilot will further enhance travel opportunities for customers.

  • Dangerous Cargo sailings have been scheduled year round on Sunday mornings with no seasonal changes that disrupt Monday and Wednesday travel.

BC Ferries thanks our customers for their support and participation in the Southern Gulf Islands Schedule Consultation. The Southern Gulf Islands service is an extremely complex network and with two new vessels coming into service in 2017, it was important to take this opportunity to help us shape our service for the future.

The new schedules for the Southern Gulf Islands take effect in May 2017. To view the new schedule, visit www.bcferries.com/about/publicconsultation2/sgi-consultation-materials.html

The new schedules will be available on our Southern Gulf Islands schedule pages in October 2016.

For additional comments and questions please email us at sgischeduling@bcferries.com

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