BC Ferries announces new service that's completely free for some travellers

Apr 26 2023, 6:14 pm

Good news for BC residents who ever need to travel via BC Ferries for medical reasons, it is now completely free.

While the program existed in some capacity before, BC Ferries has now removed the $18 booking fee, meaning that customers travelling for medical reasons will pay a grand total of $0.

BC Ferries announced the news on Tuesday.

The service is thanks to BC’s Travel Assistance Program or TAP, and it allows for a wide variety of reasons for travel, and they don’t have to be in the event of an emergency.

To take part, customers need to obtain a TAP form from their physician, nurse practitioner, or specialty clinic, along with a confirmation number from Health Insurance BC.

BC says services include:

  • Non-emergency medical specialist services available at the closest location outside the patient’s community; and
  • Diagnostic procedures, laboratory procedures, diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine procedures, BC Cancer Agency, Transplant Units, HIV/AIDS treatment at St. Paul’s Hospital, specialty clinics at BC Children’s Hospital, and other tertiary care hospital services.

Eligible passengers can also get priority boarding with Medically Assured Loading (MAL).

MAL also allows a passenger to bring along a travel escort if required.

The booking-fee-less service applies to the following routes:

  • Victoria (Swartz Bay) – Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen)
  • Nanaimo (Departure Bay) – Metro Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay)
  • Metro Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Sunshine Coast (Langdale)
  • Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Nanaimo (Duke Point)
  • Sunshine Coast (Powell River) – Vancouver Island (Comox)

BC Ferries says over 300,000 customers travelled for free on the provincial government’s TAP last year.

Click here to learn more about MAL and TAP.


Amir AliAmir Ali

+ News
+ Transportation
+ Urbanized