Starting Wednesday, Feb. 19, BC Ferries will be launching a pilot that offers direct service, on select days, between Blubber Bay terminal on Texada Island and Little River terminal in Comox.
BC Ferries developed this pilot in co-operation with the Northern Sunshine Coast Ferry Advisory Committee for the convenience of Texada Island travellers.
Every Wednesday and Saturday, the first sailing on the Powell River – Comox route to leave Westview terminal will make a stop at Blubber Bay to load a maximum of 10 standard vehicles, prior to continuing on to Comox.
On the last sailing leaving Comox, Texada-bound customers will have an opportunity to sail directly to Blubber Bay. Regardless of deck space available, only the first 10 standard vehicles to arrive for each applicable sailing will be loaded on the vessel. Commercial vehicles are not included in the pilot.
Customers departing from Blubber Bay should stage their vehicles in the small lot off the left side of the road just prior to reaching the terminal. The lot will have signage indicating it is in use for these specific sailings, and customers are required to arrive a minimum of 30 minutes prior to scheduled sailing time. A staff member will direct vehicles from the lot when the vessel is ready to load. Customers will pay fares at the cashier in the Coastal Café on board the vessel, with a single rate of $35 for a standard vehicle and $10.95 for the driver, adult passengers in a vehicle or adult foot passengers.
B.C. seniors travelling on Wednesdays when the senior discount applies, will pay $35 for the vehicle only. Cash, credit, and debit are acceptable payment methods onboard, however, the Experience Card will not be available as an onboard payment method.
Customers departing from Little River also must arrive a minimum of 30 minutes prior to sailing time and will pay fares at the ticket booth prior to being directed to an applicable staging lane. A fare of $35 for standard vehicles and $13.50 for adult passengers ($10.95 with Experience Card) will apply. Current payment methods include cash, credit and Experience Card.
The pilot will be in place for up to two years with an ongoing analysis of its viability. The success of the pilot will be measured by a number of factors including the mitigation of additional costs, how well used the sailings are, fare payments, effectiveness of the modified schedule, ongoing safe and secure operations and continued support from all communities involved. With these criteria, BC Ferries will evaluate the pilot when considering future options.