A Coastal Ferries Community Engagement meeting will be held Tuesday December 10, 2013 from 5pm to 8pm at Gabriola Community Hall, 2200 South Rd, Gabriola Island regarding cutting BC ferry routes.
How can BC Ferries Services Inc. save money? They want to save $800,000 by April 2016 on the Gabriola ferry route.
What is the solution? Cut the ferry management? Cut the major routes? The Ferry Advisory Committee has the following suggestion:
The three major routes (from the Lower Mainland to Vancouver Island) include the Twsawwassen-Duke Point run which loses the most money. These major routes are not facing huge cuts like the 22 smaller routes.
Tsawwassen-Duke Point route
The Tsawwassen-Duke Point route has been losing money for at least ten years. In each of the last five years it has lost somewhere between $24 million to $30 million a year.
The route has an average capacity utilization of 48%. It could stand to lose one of its four shifts on weekdays for ten months a year and still have room for all its traffic. A combination of consultation and a revised reservation system could produce a schedule to accommodate the freight and commercial carriers who use the route heavily. These cuts to Tsawwassen-Duke Point alone would save $9.6 million.
Translink reduced schedule:
Starting December 16, 2013 the new Translink schedule has a reduced service to and from the Tsawwassen terminal on weekdays. Instead of running every hour, buses will only run alternate hours to meet ferries to and from Victoria. Weekend services will continue to run hourly.
Gabriola Ferry Terminal
Minister Todd Stone said in the cutback announcement on November 18, 2013 that over the next two years, the ministry would be looking at making $4.9 million in service reductions for the major routes, specifically mentioning the Duke Point and Departure Bay. Could the Gabriola – Nanaimo Harbour terminal be closed and the Gabriola route be moved to Duke Point or Departure Bay?
GERTIE on the water?
Gabriola already has its own bus, Gabriola’s Environmentally Responsible Trans-Island Express (GERTIE). What would it take to put GERTIE on the water? Why should the island economy be pushed into permanent decline because of the lack of ferry service?