Less than two months after it began, the Texada Island pilot ferry project has been shelved for the time being.
BC Ferries announced March 25 it was temporarily suspending the pilot program that offers direct service between Texada and Comox because of current pandemic concerns. It said it had made the decision out of a commitment to the health and safety of customers and employees.
“We’re taking proactive measures to mitigate the spread of infectious disease including COVID-19 on our ferries and at our terminals,” BC Ferries said in a news release.
The service started on Feb. 19, offering a link from Vancouver Island to Texada, which then runs to Powell River. The program is to be in place for two years, while BC Ferries conducts ongoing analysis into the viability of the run.
For the regular Powell River-Comox route, current sailing schedule and departure times will not change, meaning that when the pilot program to Texada resumes, no adjustments will be necessary.
The COVID-19 situation has dramatically reduced ferry traffic of late, as BC Ferries reported a drop of its normal ridership numbers by about 70 to 80 per cent over the last week and a half.