June 10, 2021
BC Ferries announces results of community engagement on proposed schedules for Island Class vessels
Schedules proposed for Campbell River – Quadra Island and Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island routes
VICTORIA – BC Ferries updated communities today on the feedback it received about proposed sailing schedules to support the introduction of four new Island Class vessels on the routes servicing Campbell River – Quadra Island and Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island.
With two new Island Class vessels slated to serve each route, BC Ferries will double the frequency of sailings during peak times, significantly increasing capacity overall. With more frequent service, wait times should be reduced, mitigating congestion on local roads during peak times.
Engagement on the proposed sailing schedules provided communities with an opportunity to see how replacing one ship with two could translate into more frequent service during peak times, and to comment on how the proposed schedules met community needs. Engagement activities included a series of meetings with Ferry Advisory Committees representing both routes, online engagement with customers, and virtual community meetings.
Community feedback on the proposed schedule for the Campbell River – Quadra Island route indicated that 55 per cent of participants believed the proposed schedule met community needs. Participants noted key considerations for the schedule, including:
- Providing service as close to every hour and half-hour as possible
- Providing two-ship service later into the day to accommodate the return of commuter traffic from Vancouver Island
- Being aware of the impacts of two-ship service, and the new schedule on residents of Cortes Island who use the Campbell River – Quadra Island ferry as a vital connection to Vancouver Island
Community feedback on the proposed schedule for the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route indicated that 57 per cent of participants believed the proposed schedule met community needs. Participants noted the following key considerations for the schedule:
- Ensuring enough capacity to serve morning peak times for commuters and school children
- Providing service in regular intervals throughout the evening to support children attending extra-curricular activities and those working shift work to return home
“We thank everyone for their input on the proposed schedules. It is important to hear from those who rely on our service,” said Brian Anderson, Vice President of Strategy and Community Engagement. “We are excited to introduce two new vessels to each of these routes, providing communities with more frequent service, and with ferries that will improve customer experience and greatly reduce environmental impact over the long term.”
BC Ferries is now taking the results of the engagement and reviewing the schedules for opportunities to make adjustments prior to publishing the final schedules later this summer. The schedules that are established for the start of two-ship service on the routes will continue to be evaluated through the first few months of service. This provides BC Ferries the opportunity to make further adjustments as the ships and crew settle into their new routines and operations become more efficient.
For more information and full engagement reports, visit bcferriesprojects.ca/islandclass.
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