(BC Ferries/Twitter)

BC Ferries is preparing to build up to five new vessels next year, and the crown corporation is inviting local residents to share what they would like to see added to the fleet of new ferries.

The vessels will replace four currently operating ferries that run between Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver.

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Designs for the new ferries include minimizing underwater radiated noise (URN) to mitigate environmental impacts, and changes to vessel size, capacity, speed, maneuverability, and other technological abilities.

“Each new class of ship BC Ferries builds is quieter than the ships they replace,” said BC Ferries in a news release.

People can share their thoughts through an online survey, or during community meetings that will take place on board sailings next month. The full schedule of pop-up meetings can be found online here.

The corporation is interested in hearing the community’s thoughts on how to improve the entire experience, and suggests areas where people could put forward ideas, including:

  • Improvements and services related to accessibility (e.g. hearing induction loops, removing barriers to customer access and travel, etc.).
  • Food, beverage, and seating options.
  • Design of children’s play areas.
  • Design of the pet areas.
  • Enhancements to outdoor areas, seating types, and new ideas.
  • Enhancements for foot passengers and cyclists.
  • Innovative technologies BC Ferries might adopt.
  • Any new or innovative ideas to enhance the customer experience.

“This is an exciting project and we invite our customers to join the conversation,” said Mark
Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO in a release.

“There is still a lot to be decided as we work to keep fares affordable, reduce our environmental impact, plan for future flexibility and enhance the onboard experience for customers. We want to hear your thoughts on the project, and your ideas about how we can improve your experience when travelling with BC Ferries. This is an opportunity to get informed and provide feedback on the newest additions to our fleet as they are being designed.”

The new vessels are expected to come into service by mid-2020.

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