Ferry service from Departure Bay terminal in Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay terminal in West Vancouver is slated to begin again June 3. (Nanaimo News Bulletin file)

Ferry sailings from Departure Bay to start up again June 3

B.C. Ferries says it has chosen to resume service earlier than anticipated

Sailings between Nanaimo and West Vancouver are slated to resume within two weeks, according to B.C. Ferries.

Ferry service between Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal and West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay terminal was suspended for 60 days, beginning April 4, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in an e-mail, Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries spokeperson, said that is set to expire June 3.

“Our resumption of service will begin on June 3 with resumption of service on the Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay route,” Marshall said in the e-mail. “This service will see four round trips per day. We are working on the schedule details and will let customers know as soon as it is available. Our agreement with the province for temporary service reductions expires on June 3, but has a clause that we had 30 days to reinstate service … B.C. Ferries has chosen to resume service earlier than anticipated, which is great news for customers.”

B.C. Ferries is actively working on plans to resume service gradually over time to meet demand, with a focus on customers’ and employees’ safety, Marshall also said.

RELATED: No ferries from Departure Bay due to COVID-19 pandemic

RELATED: Long weekend starts with two-sail wait for ferries to Nanaimo

In an e-mailed statement, B.C. Minister of Transportation Claire Trevena said she is pleased that service is being reinstated and the province has been working closely with B.C. Ferries to get service back to levels that people need.

“Since [Premier John Horgan] announced the gradual reopening of our economy, we have seen increased interest in travel, which is why this service is resuming,” Trevena said. “We need to match the increased confidence of British Columbians using our transportation network with the appropriate level of service.”

The minister noted that Transport Canada regulations, which limit passenger capacity to 50 percent, will still be in effect.

“We are still urging everyone to avoid non-essential travel, and not to visit other communities, to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” she said.

– files from Greg Sakaki, News Bulletin


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