Photo of Baynes Sound Connector. (Supplied by BC Ferries).
The province is using feedback from thousands of British Columbians to help shape its vision for future coastal ferry services.
People weighed in during a two-phased public engagement process.
“What we heard from the public is that while the current ferry service works well for some, there’s lots of room for improvement for those who most depend on it – those who live in ferry-dependent communities,” said transportation minister, Claire Trevena.
“Our vision is that travel by coastal ferries is seamless, equitable and compatible with the needs of coastal communities and our natural environment. These may sound like basic principles for any transportation service, but these are all areas where we’ve heard improvements need to be made.”
Survey respondents generally say their greatest concern is affordability, followed by scheduling and reliability.
They also expressed an interest in travelling without a vehicle if there were improvements, such as better parking at terminals or improved connectivity to public transit, taxi, ride hailing or cycling, or dedicated passenger-only ferry services in more accessible locations.
According to the province, they showed “strong support” for four themes
The themes indicated that coastal ferry services should:
- support efficient end-to-end travel of people and goods;
- be equitable and accessible;
- mitigate and be responsive to climate change; and
- reflect the values of coastal communities.
Trevena will be meeting with BC Ferries Board, the BC Ferry Authority, its shareholders and the BC Ferries commissioner to discuss the feedback.
The province is using a portion of the federal Safe Restart Agreement funding, along with its own matched funding commitment for BC Ferries, to improve ferry service on the coast.
This includes ensuring affordable fares, as well as access and reliability of service.
For more on the feedback report, click here.