BC Ferries ridership falls by 40%, prompting reduced frequencies throughout April

Mar 20 2020, 11:15 pm

A significant tumble in traffic on BC Ferries as a result of the coronavirus has prompted a cancellation of the planned peak-season additional sailings throughout April.

The ferry corporation stated this afternoon it has seen a traffic decline of about 40%. The sailing cancellations on four major routes — including two of the major routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island — will allow the service to better align with the depressed traffic volumes.

These are the daily schedules in April 2020 for the following routes:

  • Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen) — Vancouver Island (Swartz Bay)
    • For travel in each direction: 7 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm, and 9 pm
  • Metro Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) — Nanaimo (Departure Bay)
    • Departing Horseshoe Bay: 6:15 am, 8:25 am, 10:40 am, 1 pm, 3:45 pm, 6:35 pm, 8:05 pm (Thursday to Monday only, except April 2 and 6), and 10:10 pm
    • Departing Departure Bay: 6:15 am, 8:25 am, 10:40 am, 1 pm, 3:20 pm, 5:55 pm, 8:45 pm, and 10:10 pm (Thursday to Monday only, except April 2 and 6)
  • Metro Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) — Sunshine Coast (Langdale)
    • Departing Horseshoe Bay: 7:30 am, 9:45 am, 11:55 am, 2:10 pm, 4:20 pm, 5:30 pm, 7:50 pm, and 10:55 pm
    • Departing Langdale: 6:20 am, 8:40 am, 10:50 am, 1:05 pm, 3:15 pm, 5:25 pm, 6:40 pm, and 8:55 pm

Passengers with reservations on the cancelled sailings on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay-Langdale, and Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay routes will be contacted and moved to the next available sailing. Those affected by their reservation cancellation on the Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands route will receive refunds.

There are also cancelled sailings on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route every day from now through the end of March. Passengers should check schedules and their sailing status before arriving at the terminal.

“BC Ferries will ensure that capacity always remains above demand to ensure coastal communities have reliable access to marine transportation and the continued transportation of essential goods communities rely on,” reads a release.

“BC Ferries has undertaken a number of important measures to ensure the health and safety of customers who need to continue to travel.”

During the crisis, the ferry corporation has implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures, closed hot food outlets and non-essential retail services, and worked with Transport Canada to temporarily allow passengers to remain in their vehicles on enclosed decks, effectively helping promote social distancing.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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