Swartz Bay terminal

Terminal development plan for Victoria (Swartz Bay)


In the spring of 2018, we launched an engagement process to gather community input to help shape future plans for Swartz Bay terminal, including improved passenger buildings, amenities, and operational facilities. Learn more about our engagement process.
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Phase 3: Approved terminal development plan released

We are now ready to share the approved terminal development plan for Swartz Bay Terminal.
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In addition to meeting with key stakeholders, we'll be presenting the plan to the community and customers through pop-up events at the Swartz Bay terminal this spring.

Community and customer feedback has influenced the terminal development plan in the following ways:

  • Support for an improved pick-up and drop- off area and foot passenger building
  • Development of proposed bicycle routes for cyclists entering and leaving the terminal
  • Highlighting the preference and needs for a centralized vehicle passenger retail building (in the same location as the Lands End building today) versus a building on the waterfront
  • Strong support for a waterfront park

Next steps

Implementing the terminal development plan will occur in phases, with the first phase focusing on improving road access, parking and pick-up/drop-off areas. We will be looking to the public for input on the detailed designs for each phase, and will involve the community in identifying potential construction impacts and mitigation measures. Subject to funding approvals, our timeline for phased implementation looks like this:

Project updates

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Phase 1 and Phase 2 summaries

In Phase 1, we gathered input on key issues and opportunities related to the terminal. We heard from over 1,000 people through pop-up events at the terminal, an online engagement, and stakeholder and employee workshops.

The key themes we heard in Phase 1 were:
  • Better food services
  • Improved outdoor spaces
  • Improved waiting areas
  • Interpretive and cultural features
  • Wayfinding, mobility and accessibility
  • Waste management
  • Thru-fare connections
In Phase 2, we created draft concepts for the future of the terminal using the key themes we identified in Phase 1. We asked about several 'Big Moves', or potential options for the terminal and heard from more than 500 people through pop-up events at the terminal, an online engagement, and stakeholder and employee workshops.

Participants identified most concepts as meeting their needs well or very well, and noted a preference for a park in the waterfront area of the terminal, rather than a concession in that area. Preference for the concession was that it be included closer to the vehicle waiting area, as it is today.
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Frequently asked questions

Q. How will the public input gathered in this engagement be used?
A. Your input is important to us and will shape the concept(s) that go into the Swartz Bay Terminal Development Plan, which will in turn shape future phases of redevelopment, including detailed design. Local communities and customers will continue to be engaged as future phases are undertaken.

Q. Why is BC Ferries planning improvements to Swartz Bay terminal?
A. The previous master plan (2004) led to a number of terminal upgrades but is no longer up-to-date. Several key issues need to be addressed, including [a] the foot passenger terminal is at capacity and too small for expected growth; [b] the vehicular passenger building is at the end of its service life, and [c] the warehouse facility is at capacity. Additionally, with expected passenger growth, technology evolving, and transportation trends shifting, we need to keep pace with and plan for these changes.
Project Description Completed
Highway 17 widening Widening highway and improved approach to terminal 2006
Berth 2 marine structures Complete rebuild of berth 2 2006
Reconfigure the Southern Gulf Islands holding compound / construct East exit road Expanded the Southern Gulf Islands holding compound and created East exit road for second exit for off-loading vehicles during peak times 2007
Relocate ticket booths Ticket booths moved back to create more space in holding lanes within terminal 2008
Upper lot public washrooms Added a washroom for vehicle passengers waiting up near toll booths 2009
Short term parking reconfiguration Made improvements to pick-up / drop-off area 2010
Upper level parking reconfiguration and bus platform Improved pick-up / drop-off flow and created designated bus parking 2011
Berths 4 and 5 rebuild Complete rebuild of berths 4 and 5 including waiting shelters 2012
PA system upgrades Improved passenger notification through PA system 2012
Traffic calming Installed traffic calming measures outside terminal to slow down traffic on the approach to the ticket booths 2017

Q. What is the timeline for improvements?
A. Planned improvements will be implemented over a period of time and in phases. This engagement effort is a visioning and planning exercise and is the first of three key phases associated with terminal improvements.

Q. Will the Terminal Development Plan address routes, service levels, and scheduling?
A. No. The Terminal Development Plan addresses the future site planning and design of the terminal, but does not address service levels, routes, frequency of service, scheduling, and fares.

If you have other questions, want to provide feedback, or require further information about the Swartz Bay terminal development engagement process, contact tdpinfo@bcferries.com or write to us at British Columbia Ferry Services Inc., Terminal Development, Suite 500 - 1321 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 0B7. Your email, address information and any other information about you is being collected under section 26 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the terminal development engagement process. If you have any questions about the collection of your information, contact the Manager, Terminal Development by calling 250-978-1479, or write to us at this email or at the address above.
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