I am writing to update your readers about the new sailing schedules that were implemented in April of this year.
After six weeks of community consultation by BC Ferries this past spring, the schedules originally proposed by the provincial government were refined on all of the affected routes to try to introduce the best timetables that still met the service reductions outlined by the Province.
Any change to ferry service takes some time to get used to, however on several routes, including the Powell River – Comox and Powell River – Texada Island routes, issues arose. We saw berth conflicts at Westview and dangerous cargo sailing issues on the Texada Island route. Over the summer we’ve been working with the Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) as well as hearing suggestions from other customers about some schedule refinements to mitigate these issues. We’ve already implemented a change for the dangerous goods sailing for Texada Island and we will implement minor schedule adjustments to the Powell River – Comox route on Oct. 1, 2014 to improve on-time performance for both routes.
FACs are comprised of local community representatives who volunteer their time to consult on operational issues relevant to their community. They act as liaisons, relaying information to the community and providing BC Ferries with constructive advice and insights into the concerns and opinions of local ferry users.
We certainly understand the vital role we play in maintaining the quality of life for people who live, work and travel in and around coastal British Columbia. We will continue to work with the FAC this fall to get a sense of community preference about possible schedule tweaks that can be made to meet the needs of the majority of ferry users while still achieving the net savings set out by the provincial government.
VP, Customer Services