BC Ferries' new ban on staying in cars on closed lower decks now in effect

Oct 12 2017, 12:10 am

BC Ferries’ new policy on passengers who stay in their cars on the closed lower decks of the vessels officially takes effect today.

The new vehicle deck policy means passengers are banned from remaining in their vehicle on any closed deck of a vessel.

Lower deck policy stipulated by Transport Canada

The ferry corporation says the new policies will follow Transport Canada’s updated safety regulations to reduce passenger access to closed vehicle decks when the ferry is traveling.

However, on larger vessels with both an upper and lower vehicle deck, passengers can still remain in their vehicles if it is parked on the upper vehicle deck.

If there are special circumstances, passengers may make a request at the ticket booth to be placed on the upper vehicle deck, but this is of course dependent on space availability.

Closed vehicle decks are defined as vehicle decks that close at both ends and have limited side openings. The new policy applies to the lower vehicle decks of the following ferries:

  • Spirit of British Columbia
  • Spirit of Vancouver Island
  • Coastal Renaissance
  • Coastal Inspiration
  • Coastal Celebration
  • Queen of Alberni
  • Queen of Coquitlam
  • Queen of Cowichan
  • Queen of New Westminster
  • Queen of Oak Bay
  • Queen of Surrey
  • Queen of Nanaimo
  • Salish Orca
  • Salish Eagle
  • Salish Raven
  • Northern Expedition
  • Northern Adventure

This new policy will initially be enforced by a “soft approach”, and there may be some exemptions on a case-to-case basis for passengers who have unique challenges or special needs.

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