BC Ferries is scraping its proposed temporary summer ‘Route 3 Trial,’ which was meant to test new fare and reservation options on the Langdale – Horseshoe Bay ferry route
In a series of consultations with Sunshine Coast residents last fall, BC Ferries found users of the route were concerned about ferry travel stress and anxiety, especially in the peak season.
It says uncertainty in travel times, long waits at congested terminals, and lack of available reservations were also noted as concerns. It found customers wanted solutions that would help them plan ahead and make their travel easier.
To address these concerns, BC Ferries proposed the trial launch on May 26th; however, president and CEO Mark Collins now says the proposal sparked a “divisive issue” in the community. He says this “certainly was not the intent.”
“As a result, we will forego the trial and operate the route in the usual manner this summer,” Collins explains. “It is evident that the issues are complex and more community conversation is needed before change can be considered.”
During the over three-month-long trial, BC Ferries planned to increase reservation space from 40-50 per cent, on average, to 95 per cent of the vessel. It also wanted to provide free reservations on all Saver and Prepaid fares, among other changes, which can be found in the initial release.
Collins is now extending thanks to community leaders and elected representatives for their help in considering the proposal.