A B.C. Ferries vessel departing Horseshoe Bay. (News Bulletin file photo)

B.C. Ferries increases sailings, traffic levels still way down

Ferry corporation adding 120 weekly sailings on busiest routes starting next week

B.C. Ferries is increasing sailings on major routes, though low traffic levels suggest it won’t be a typical summer for travel.

A press release from the ferry corporation notes that it is adding sailings to a number of routes, including Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay, Duke Point-Tsawwassen, Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay-Langdale.

B.C. Ferries notes that the additional sailings represent an increase of about 120 per week above June levels.

According to B.C. Ferries, traffic is down an average of 50 per cent across major routes after being down 80 per cent during April.

“The additional sailings mean capacity will exceed current summer demand by an average of 20 per cent,” the release notes. “B.C. Ferries believes it will be two to three years before traffic returns to pre-COVID levels.”

B.C. Ferries says although it will have “more than enough capacity to meet traffic demand,” it cautions that sailings at popular times will still fill up and recommends travellers make reservations and try to sail at less busy times of the day.

Customers are encouraged to remain in their vehicles on all decks during the summer and maintain physical distancing on board. Travellers must have a face mask with them to wear in case they are in situations where physical distancing isn’t possible.

Following an eight-week closure due to COVID-19, service between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay resumed on a limited basis June 3 and provincial and federal health rules will be followed during the gradual resumption of service, said B.C. Ferries.

Safety measures include limiting sailings, allowing customers to remain in their vehicles during the sailing on all car decks, enhanced cleaning, and screening of travellers.

For ferry schedules and more information, visit www.bcferries.com.

READ ALSO: B.C. Ferries passengers must now bring masks, face coverings for longer trips



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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