Following the release of a south island ferry route preliminary feasibility study earlier this year, Colwood City Council has approved of further research and the creation of a ferry terminal “in principle”.
On Tuesday, Colwood committee members voted in favour of potentially creating a ferry terminal in Royal Bay that would connect to a new terminal in Victoria’s Ship Point.
If approved, the route would be operated by BC Ferries and feature high-speed catamaran passenger ferries.
Each vessel could carry 294 passengers and would be intended to provide an alternative to the busy Trans-Canada highway and the infamous ‘Colwood Crawl’.
While approval for further research passed through the council by a large majority, concerns were raised about the scope of the ferry terminal construction project, and the time it will take for further studies to complete.
There are “many years and many dollars” between a pre-feasibility report and launching a ferry terminal, noted one councillor.
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However, many councillors were in support of funding further studies.
“I do believe this is an excellent opportunity for community that we should continue to explore,” said one member of staff.
“I can say without reservation that it is something that thoroughly resonates with our public, so it does behoove us to explore this to its fullest potential.”
While any sort of ferry route between the West Shore and Victoria remains in its very early stages, further research can now be conducted as the council approved of a ship terminal “in principle”.
The ferry route has also been added to BC’s South Island Transportation Plan, which the province is reviewing over the course of 2019.