June 5, 2020
Temporary service level agreement now in place through Sept. 7
VICTORIA – BC Ferries and the Province have agreed to a plan that gradually increases service levels across multiple routes along coastal British Columbia. The Province has amended the Coastal Ferry Services Contract to permit these service adjustments through Sept. 7, 2020.
As traffic starts to return to the ferry system and British Columbia slowly begins to relax COVID19 restrictions, BC Ferries is reintroducing service across the system in response to demand, and is doing this in a thoughtful and controlled way. BC Ferries will continue to follow guidelines provided by provincial and federal officials.
“BC Ferries understands the important role we play in British Columbia’s social and economic recovery,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “We remain committed to ensuring coastal communities have reliable access to essential goods and transportation for residents, emergency personnel and health care workers. However, it will take some time before we return to pre-COVID-19 traffic demand and full service offerings.”
BC Ferries will continue to monitor traffic levels on these routes and will add more service over the summer months as demand requires.
For northern and mid-coast communities, service will continue to operate at off-peak (winter) service levels. The summer direct service from Bella Coola to Port Hardy will not be introduced at this time.
Starting June 9, BC Ferries is increasing service on routes to the Southern Gulf Islands to match capacity with demand and better meet the needs of customers and these communities. Direct sailings from Tsawwassen to the Southern Gulf Islands will resume. This includes the re-opening of the Long Harbour terminal on Salt Spring Island. A second vessel from Tsawwassen to the Southern Gulf Islands will not be introduced this summer.
On June 24, regular service will resume between the Saanich Peninsula (Brentwood Bay) and Vancouver Island (Mill Bay).
During to the pandemic, BC Ferries has maintained minimum core service levels on all other routes as specified in the Coastal Ferry Services Contract. This continues under the new Temporary Service Level Agreement. Minor adjustments to schedules above core levels on inter-island routes will be implemented in the coming weeks. In some instances, certain sailings will be removed from the schedules. BC Ferries will notify customers once the details are finalized.
BC Ferries’ priority is the health and safety of its customers and employees, and the company will strictly adhere to provincial and federal guidelines during this gradual resumption of service. The company is following the directives and guidance provided by the Province of B.C. and Transport Canada. Safety measures in place include limiting passenger capacity by 50 per cent to support physical distancing, allowing customers to remain in their vehicles during the sailing on all car decks, enhanced cleaning and screening of travellers.
For schedules and information about travelling with BC Ferries during the COVID-19 situation, visit bcferries.com.
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BC Ferries, Media Relations
Victoria: (250) 978-1267
Victoria: (250) 386-3431
Toll-free: 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779)
British Columbia Ferry Services Inc., 500-1321 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC V8W 0B7
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