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B.C. Ferries planning to modernize check-in systems at five major terminals

The proposed changes, which still need to be approved by the B.C. Ferry Commissioner, could include allowing reserved vehicle passengers to check in using new express-lane ticket booths
BC Ferries Swartz Bay Terminal. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

B.C. Ferries is planning to modernize check-in and boarding systems at its five major terminals.

Changes could include allowing reserved vehicle passengers to check in using new express-lane ticket booths, pre-gate vehicle identification using licence-plate recognition and enhanced ticket-booth technology, it said.

Foot passengers would see improved kiosks, fare gates and boarding-pass validation systems.

A modern, more efficient system would mean reduced waiting times for foot and vehicle passengers for ticketing and reservation redemption, B.C. Ferries said in a report to the B.C. Ferry Commissioner outlining its intentions.

“Without change, the company’s major terminals will not be adaptable for the future and will not be able to realize efficiencies, resulting in increased costs and heightened business risks.”

The current system is “manually intensive” and supported by inflexible and aging technology, B.C. Ferries said.

The five terminals earmarked for upgrades include Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen, Duke Point, Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay.

Technology to support new terminal operations systems would be implemented in two phases over four years, B.C. Ferries said, allowing for evaluation and system adjustments.

The ferry commissioner has two months to respond to the proposal.

The estimated cost of the project is unknown, but expenditures above $25 million must be approved by the commissioner.

Anyone wishing to comment on the proposal and read the application in full can go to the commissioner’s website at

[email protected]

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