One of the largest and busiest ferry terminals on the BC Ferries network could receive drastic improvements that will increase capacity and improve passenger experience.
There are plans to retrofit the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal on Vancouver Island, which of course serves the major ferry route between the Greater Victoria region and Tsawwassen in Metro Vancouver.
Early draft concepts following two rounds of public consultation earlier this year envision a waterfront boardwalk and park, a covered market, a pub, a coffee kiosk, and dedicated space for food trucks.
There could also be improved food services near the vehicle waiting area, an expanded foot passenger waiting building, improved foot passenger pick-up and waiting areas, and interpretive and cultural features.
Using these concepts, a detailed design will be developed and unveiled during the upcoming third phase of public consultation.
If approved and fully financed, construction could begin in 2021.
Over the coming decade, BC Ferries estimates it will need to spend a total of $500 million on retrofits of terminals that serve major routes, especially Horseshoe Bay, Swartz Bay, and Tsawwassen.
With over seven million annual passenger boardings, the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal is the second busiest terminal on the ferry network, right behind Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.
The Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal retrofit project in West Vancouver will be the most costly, with an estimated $250 million cost to completely rebuild the entire terminal and ground infrastructure. Public consultation for this project began earlier this year.