Thanksgiving rush: Arrive early at BC Ferries' Tsawwassen terminal

Oct 10 2016, 7:54 am

Anyone planning to board a ferry at BC Ferries’ Tsawwassen ferry terminal today, Thanksgiving Monday, is advised to arrive extra early due to the traffic bound for the newly opened Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre located nearby.

Both the ferry terminal and mall share the same access route, Highway 17. BC Ferries has warned travellers to expect delays on the highway, especially today as local residents will be returning home from their long weekend travels. The ferry corporation has also added a number of extra sailings to and from Swartz Bay, the busiest ferry route in the network.

“Please allow extra time to arrive safely at the Tsawwassen terminal,” reads a statement by the ferry corporation. “BC Ferries expects heavy traffic on Highway 17 on the approach to the Tsawwassen terminal during this time. Traffic control will be in place by Tsawwassen Mills to help direct motorists.”

Delays of up to an hour on the roadway alone were recorded over the last few days, with traffic backing up on the highway about two kilometres before the mall. Drivers bound for the ferry terminal while traveling on Highway 17 should use the centre lane.

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“The holiday Monday of the Thanksgiving long weekend is traditionally the busiest day of the year for foot passengers and is one of the few times of the year where we experience foot passenger overloads,” said Corrine Storey, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Customer Services, in a statement.

“Customers travelling as foot passengers are advised to arrive at the terminals well in advance of their desired sailing and consider travelling before noon on the holiday Monday.”

Extra local police and traffic controllers from the Ministry of Transportation will be deployed along the route. Drivers are asked to follow the directions provided by personnel and digital signage on the roadside.