Due to its success, the City of New Westminster has provided further funding to allow its Q to Q pilot ferry service to run daily until at least May 2019.
The foot passenger ferry service connects the dock below the Inn at the Quay in downtown New Westminster – next to the River Market – to the Port Royal public dock across the Fraser River in Queensborough.
Ferry service will run daily, with service from Monday to Thursday running from 6 am to 9 am and 12 pm to 7 pm. On Fridays, the hours are slightly longer from 6 am to 9 am and 12 pm to 8 pm.
As for weekends and statutory holidays, the service will run from 10 am to 8 pm.
During all operating hours, sailings will run on a minimum frequency of at least 20 minutes. The service uses a fleet of two 12-passenger capacity water taxis, with each one-way trip taking about five minutes.
Fares are set at $2 for an adult single, one-way trip and $1 for concession one-way. A monthly pass is also available for $40 for adults and $20 for concession.
City Council provided the service with an additional operational budget of $300,000, which will last until May.
According to a City staff report, about 25% of the $348,000 operating cost of the service this year to date has been recovered through fare revenue, and an additional $25,000 has been recovered from a sponsorship contribution by Aragon Developments.
The service saw a ridership of 42,671 boardings between May 19 and August 31, and it is estimated that an additional 20,000 trips will be completed in September and October.
City staff would like to see the service’s fare system integrated with TransLink’s Compass Card, but they were told by the public transit authority it is not possible at this time due to regulatory, financial, and administrative barriers.
There is a goal of turning the service into a permanent, year-round service with a stable, constant source of funding, but this is dependent on the creation of a business case that supports such a program.
The municipal government launched its pilot ferry service in the summer of 2017 with Bowen Land Sea and Taxi as the operator.
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