Province to seek public input on future of ferries

Coast Reporter

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BC ferries / ship noise
A BC ferry crossing Howe Sound to Sunshine Coast. The province will be engaging the public in 2020 about the future of operations for coastal BC Ferries. Photo: Shutterstock

The province will launch an online engagement process in the new year to help develop a long-term vision for coastal ferry services, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced Friday.

The goal, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said in a release, is “to develop a broad provincial vision so we can be sure that we have the right ferry services in place in the future.”

To start the process, Trevena will meet with stakeholders in a number of coastal communities, including the Sunshine Coast, Nanaimo, Victoria, Vancouver, Salt Spring Island, Haida Gwaii and Comox.

“These meetings will help inform the broader visioning process,” said the ministry’s release, which lists some of the ideas that could be explored: supplementing current services with passenger-only ferries, expanding transportation choices, and finding ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Developing a long-term vision was one of the key recommendations contained in a review of coastal ferry services by formal deputy minister Blair Redlin, released last winter.

“With recent amendments to the Coastal Ferry Act to better support public interest, a vision will help guide the BC Ferries commissioner and the BC Ferry Authority in making decisions that also best serve the travelling public,” the ministry said.