As the B.C Day long weekend approaches, people are being reminded to expect travel delays across the populated areas of Vancouver Island.
BC Ferries says the most popular travel times are Thursday and Friday afternoons, as well as Saturday morning. They advise passengers travelling between Thursday, Aug. 1 and Tuesday, Aug. 6 to follow some precautions, in order to ensure as little disruption as possible. Last year the company’s ships carried more than 625,000 passengers over the weekend, with a large percentage travelling from the Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals.
To avoid sailing waits, ferry customers are advised to avoid the busy periods and to make a reservation. Customers with reserved bookings do not have sailing waits, even when sailings are said to be full. However passengers with cars should arrive at the terminal 45–60 minutes early and walk-on passengers 45 minutes before sailing. To speed things up, the company asks customers to have their booking reference ready before approaching the ticket booth.
If a sailing wait occurs, and a passenger hasn’t booked ahead, they will be placed on the next available sailing.
As more people head out during these times, the parking lots fill up quickly. BC Ferries recommends people think about ride sharing or taking the bus.
Incentives are available, as passengers happy to travel off-peak can bag a deal due to the Sunrise and Sunset Savings promotion, which involves more than 1,600 early morning and late evening sailings. Some sailings are discounted to $49, $59 or $69 for a one-way driver and car on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen – Duke Point and Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay routes.
And it’s not just ferries, in Greater Victoria Symphony Splash is scheduled for the Inner Harbour on Sunday, Aug. 4.
BC Transit advise that buses will start detour routes at 12 p.m.
The 2 James Bay, 2 South Oak Bay/Willows, 27/28 Downtown will travel their regular routes but the following will be affected.
- 3/10 Royal Jubilee – Regular route to Superior/Menzies, straight on Superior, left Douglas, left Broughton, right Government to regular route
- 3/10 James Bay – From Wharf, left Fort, right Douglas, right Superior to regular route
- 27 Gordon Head/28 Majestic – From Fairfield, left Blanshard, left Courtney, right Douglas to regular route
- 30/31 Royal Oak – From Fairfield, left Blanshard, left Courtney, right Douglas to regular route
- 30/31 Downtown – From Douglas, left Burdett to Fairfield Terminus
- 50 Langford/61 Sooke – From Fairfield, right Douglas to regular route
- 50/61 Downtown – From Douglas, left Courtney, right Blanshard, right Fairfield Terminus
- 70/72 Swartz Bay – From Fairfield, right Douglas to regular route
- 75 Saanichton – From Fairfield, right Douglas to regular route
- 70/72/75 Downtown – From Douglas, left Courtney, right Blanshard, right Fairfield Terminus