Denman Island cable ferry going ahead

BC Ferries will proceed with its plans to design, build and operate a cable ferry between Buckley Bay and Denman Island.

BC Ferries will proceed with its plans to design, build and operate a cable ferry between Buckley Bay and Denman Island, the company announced Friday.

The new 50-car vessel is expected to be in service by the fall of 2014.

After four years of studying the feasibility of a cable ferry, BC Ferries is satisfied that this type of operation meets the company’s strict criteria for the delivery of a safe and reliable operation for the Buckley Bay–Denman Island service in a more cost effective manner.

Extensive design work and analysis conducted to-date includes: validation of environmental conditions; hydrodynamic testing of the vessel; cable load analysis and dynamic interaction of the ferry and berths; and the determination of operational criteria, cable specification and safety factors.

“At BC Ferries we are constantly looking to identify ways to keep operating and capital costs as low as possible while maintaining our high standard of safety and customer service, and a cable ferry provides substantial cost savings of $19 million over the life of these assets calculated on a discounted net present value basis,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ president and CEO. “These significant cost savings will help reduce pressure on future fare increases.”

The necessary regulatory approvals for the cable ferry project have been obtained including approval from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Transport Canada approval under the Navigable Waters

Protection Act.

BC Ferries is moving into the detailed design phase for the cable ferry and for the terminal infrastructure. The company expects to conclude a tender process for the construction of the vessel and terminal works by the summer of 2013.

The company has an obligation to ensure that the service it provides under the Coastal Ferry Services Contract is safe, reliable and efficient. To this end, BC Ferries issued a request for proposal (RFP) to determine if another operator, under contract to BC Ferries, could provide the cable ferry service to a similar level of safety and quality at a lower cost.

BC Ferries has now concluded the RFP process and has determined that it can operate the route in a more cost-effective manner than an alternative service provider. Accordingly,

BC Ferries will operate the cable ferry between Buckley Bay and Denman Island.

A public information session to update the community on the cable ferry project will be held Nov. 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Denman Island Seniors Hall.

— BC Ferries

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