Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New regulations in effect on BC Ferries sailings on North Coast

The Northern Expedition (above) along with the Northern Adventure
will both see changes in passenger regulations come into effect today.
With passengers now prohibited from staying with their vehicles during transit.

Today's the day that BC Ferries implements Transport Canada regulations to restrict passengers from remaining in their vehicles on closed car decks.

As we outlined on the blog back in August, BC Ferries announced the change and put in motion plans to address the needs of those passengers that indicate that they need to remain in their vehicles.

Towards that, the Ferry Corporation issued an information statement yesterday that outlines the process moving forward from today:

Customers needing to remain in their vehicles should identify themselves at the ticket booth when they arrive, so BC Ferries can try and accommodate their request. BC Ferries’ staff at the terminals and on board the vessels will assist customers wherever possible with the new policy to ensure a smooth implementation.

On larger vessels that have both an upper and lower vehicle deck, customers will be able to remain in their vehicles on the upper vehicle deck only. For customers with special circumstances that need to remain in their vehicles on these vessels, BC Ferries recommends they arrive at the terminal early, so staff can make every effort to accommodate their request.

The Transport Canada regulations are designed to address safety concerns, access restrictions will not apply when passengers are directed to return to the vehicles as the vessel approaches the dock.

Captain Jamie Marshall, BC Ferries Vice President of Fleet Operations made note of the change and how it impacts on BC Ferries passengers.

“We recognize this regulation will be a change for some customers and our staff is ready to help wherever possible,” “Our employees will do their best to accommodate customers who need to remain in their vehicle for a variety of circumstances that may preclude them moving up to the passenger decks.”

The new policy applies to the majority of the BC Ferries fleet that features large vessels serving Vancouver Island and the Northern routes.

More notes related to BC Ferries operations on the North Coast and Haida Gwaii can be found on our archive page.

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