Thursday, June 19, 2014

BC Ferries to expand sailings for summer... for southern routes

It's an announcement that is sure to raise the hackles of  North Coast communities that continue to feel the impact of cutbacks to Ferry Service on the northern routes, as BC Ferries on Wednesday outlined an increase to sailings on many of routes in the south.

The schedule additions announcement highlights an increase in southern sailings that as BC Ferries explains; will ensure for smooth sailing for summer holiday users, offering details on the 80 sailings per week to serve Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

In the same media release, BC Ferries also makes mention of the the 100 unique vacation packages that they offer. Though residents of the North Coast and Haida Gwaii, as well as the Central Coast might wonder how anyone is supposed to take advantage of what they have to offer with the fewer opportunities for travel that the Northern Schedule continues to offer.

An article in Business in Vancouver magazine highlights just what some tourism operators of the region are facing this summer, with one operator on the Central Coast reporting a rather dramatic 90 per cent drop in business after the cuts were put in place.

In addition to the vacation plans and schedule updates, BC Ferries offers up a snapshot of their 2013 Customer Satisfaction Survey, which suggests 87 per cent of customers on recent trips have reported satisfaction with their BC Ferries experience.

A number which we imagine is more indicative of the Southern experience, than that of the North.

Among those that surely would offer up a different opinion on the Satisfaction scale, would be the Mayors of Prince Rupert, and  communities on Haida Gwaii as well as those along the central coast.

Through the Spring they and North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, have made much comment on the impact that the BC Ferries cutbacks are having and will continue to have on their communities.

We imagine, that with Wednesday's announcement of better schedule options for the southern routes, they might have a few more comments to share not only with BC Ferries, but with Transportation Minister Todd Stone.

You can review some of those past issues from our Transportation archive page.

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