BC Ferries has announced that service levels are being increased on its most popular route between Vancouver and Victoria.
Starting on May 15, two additional sailings are being added to the Tsawwassen — Swartz Bay route. One extra sailing will take place at 11 am from Swartz Bay; the other will take place at 1 pm from Tsawassen.
These departures will be available between Monday and Friday.
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Two sailings will be added to May 16, as well: a 7 am departure from Swartz Bay and a 9 am departure from Tsawwassen.
Effective May 24, two more sailings will be added to BC Ferries’ Sunday schedule: a 3 pm departure from Tsawwassen and a 5 pm departure from Swartz Bay.
Deborah Marshall, spokesperson for BC Ferries, stresses that these adjustments are to improve the movement of essential goods and services — not for leisurely travel.
“We are closely monitoring the traffic across the fleet,” she tells Daily Hive. “Premier John Horgan made it quite clear that the upcoming long weekend is not a time for leisure travel. We remind our customers to avoid non-essential travel at this time.”
“For those that need to travel, additional measures have been put in place to keep customers and crew healthy and safe including limiting passenger capacity to support physical distancing, allowing customers to remain in their vehicles during the sailing and enhanced cleaning.”
As per Transport Canada, all sailings will continue to maintain 50% of its regular capacity until at least June 30.
In order to reduce the risk of infection for those that do need to travel, all food and retail outlets at terminals and on board the ships are also closed until further notice. Passengers are also allowed to remain in their vehicles during the sailing.
Marshall says that BC Ferries is working with the province on plans to ramp up service but only “when the time is appropriate.”