The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay, seen from Horseshoe Bay terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

As far as ferry riders are concerned, lower fares are the most pressing area of improvement for the service.

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure released a report this week on a second phase of public engagement as part of a coastal ferry service visioning process.

Thirty-nine per cent of those surveyed said fares are the area of ferry service that needs the most improvement, while 18 per cent said scheduling needed the most work and 14 per cent pointed to sailing waits.

Some of the concerns about fares noted in the report were that unaffordability is increasing and that ferry service should be affordable for all community members.

Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure, said in a press release that the current ferry service works well for some, but there’s “lots of room for improvement” identified by residents of ferry-dependent communities.

“Our vision is that travel by coastal ferries is seamless, equitable and compatible with the needs of coastal communities and our natural environment,” Trevena said. “These may sound like basic principles for any transportation service, but these are all areas where we’ve heard improvements need to be made.”

The report noted that tourists, infrequent travellers and those with high household incomes were more satisfied with ferry service, while those who live in ferry-dependent regions and those with lower household incomes were less satisfied.

Among the survey respondents, more than two-thirds always or often bring a vehicle onto the ferry, but 53 per cent of respondents said better public transit connections would make them more likely to travel as a foot passenger.

The press release noted that Trevena will meet with the BC Ferries board, ferry commissioner and the B.C. Ferry Authority to discuss findings of the public engagement process.

A previous press release noted that the information gathered through public engagement will be used to “develop a provincial vision to guide the future of British Columbia’s coastal ferry service.”

RELATED: Transportation minister launches next ferry future phase for Island, Coastal communities

The ministry said the survey findings align with the B.C. government’s decision to provide BC Ferries with federal-provincial COVID-19 recovery restart funding. The ferry corporation is receiving $308 million.

Mark Collins, BC Ferries president and CEO, said in a statement that the restart funding will assist in its plan to provide “safe, reliable and affordable ferry service.”

RELATED: Horgan protests forcing BC Ferries passengers out of cars



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCFerries

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A pair of crashes on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack have snarled traffic in both directions.
Pair of crashes snarl traffic between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Traffic delays eastbound, large westbound backup

Final numbers won't be known for weeks, but turnout was down across the board in the Fraser Valley and B.C.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
Election turnout down across Fraser Valley and B.C.

Even after thousands of mail-in ballots counted, turnout is likely to fall below 50% in many ridings

NEWS FILE PHOTO
Voters in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Langley may head back to polls in 2021

Election of local politicians in BC vote would trigger by-elections in several Fraser Valley cities

Simon Gibson watching the vote count at the Best Western Hotel in Mission. With 98 polls reporting, Gibson leads NDP challenger Alexis by 188 votes. / Kevin Mills photo.
Abbotsford-Mission riding too close to call, mail-in ballots will decide

98 polls reporting: BC Liberal incumbent Simon Gibson leads NDP challenger Pam Alexis by 188 votes

Chelsa Meadus, BC Liberal party candidate for the riding of Maple Ridge-Mission, watches the election results come in with her son Preston, 13, at the Maple Ridge Seniors Activity Centre Saturday evening. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
NDP’s Bob D’Eith front-runner for Maple Ridge-Mission

D’Eith looking forward to getting back to work as riding’s MLA

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil forfeiture office alleges $2M Surrey home was used to launder cannabis money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read