To protect the health and safety of communities and ferry workers BC Ferries says it is reducing service.

The reductions will affect many routes.

BC Ferries’ President and CEO Mark Collins says they “will continue to transport the goods communities rely on, and we will get people to where they need to go.”

The service reductions will also better match ferry service to current demand.

Collins also says “unfortunately, these service level reductions will result in temporary layoffs for hundreds” of workers at BC Ferries.”

He adds that they will try “keep the temporary layoffs to as short as possible.”

The Coastal Ferry Services Contract with the Province of British Columbia has been amended to permit the service reductions.

BC Ferries says capacity will be reduced by about half of what there was at this time last year.

Most of the service reductions will go into effect on Saturday.

BC Ferries will monitor service levels to ensure essential service is maintained and to determine when sailings return to normal.

Effective Saturday, April 4, 2020, service level adjustments are as follows:

– Regular sailings on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen – Duke Point are reduced to four round trips a day from the present eight on both routes

– Four additional “cargo only” round trips will be provided on the Tsawwassen – Duke Point route, to ensure essential goods are transported to and from Vancouver Island

– Service on the Langdale – Horseshoe Bay route is reduced to six round trips a day from the present eight

– All service on the Horseshoe Bay – Nanaimo route is suspended

– All service on the Mill Bay – Brentwood Bay route is suspended

– For northern and mid-coast communities, service will continue to operate at the current off-peak (winter) service levels. The summer direct service from Bella Coola to Port Hardy will not be introduced at this time

– Changes will be coming to the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands and Swartz Bay –Southern Gulf Islands service. Details are currently being finalized and will be announced soon.

The remaining routes and schedules are unchanged for now.