Friday, June 14, 2024

BC Ferries looks to take on multi-million dollar upgrade on its major terminals


BC Ferries has submitted an application to make significant upgrades to its five major terminals in order to speed up and automate their processes for ticketing and check-ins. 

Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen, Duke Point, Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay will all benefit from the over $25 million project.

BC Ferries says their customers will benefit from reduced ticketing and check-in wait times, a contactless journey for foot passenger travel provided by enhanced kiosks, fare gates and boarding pass validation and express lane check-in at the terminals for pre-paid reserved customers in vehicles.

When BC Ferries wants to incur an expenditure of over $25 million, they must first receive approval from the British Columbia Ferries Commissioner (BCFC), who have their detailed, 77-page application before them now. 

The improvements would be slowly rolled out over the next four years if approved. BC Ferries says it would start with foot passenger improvements at Tsawwassen and vehicle express lanes at Duke Point, which could be finished by fall of 2024.

The rest of the improvements would be implemented and operational by the fall of 2027.

The BCFC has opened the application for public feedback on their website where people are invited to share their opinions up until July 5th. 

BC Ferries has had struggles with staffing resulting in sailings being cancelled since the onset of the pandemic. This streamlining and automating of their services could potentially free up some of its employees to reduce the number of cancellations and staffing concerns. 

The changes would directly impact BC Ferries’ approximate 16.5 million passengers and 6.8 million vehicles every year. 

Curtis Blandy

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