Tell Us a Ferry Tale

The FAC needs your help. We are preparing  a “Significant Service Request” to ask BC Ferries to reinstate mid-afternoon sailings year round. Since adding these sailings back into the schedule would mean that BC Ferries would be delivering a higher level of service than they are contracted to provide by the Province, we need to make our argument compelling. We have the data, but we need to hear from you. Please send us your stories of how these missing sailings have impacted you and/or your family or business. Ideally we are looking for short quotes that will illustrate the negative social and economic consequences of maintaining the schedule as it stands.

Please email your submissions to gabriola.fac@gmail.com. If you prefer to provide your submission in writing, you can drop it off at the Gabriola Library. We look forward to hearing from you!

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BC Ferries Seeks Permission to Contract New Vessels

As part of their contract with the Province, BC Ferries must apply to the Ferry Commissioner for approval of major expenditures. BC Ferries has now submitted an application for four new Island Class vessels and one new Salish Class vessel. Two of the Island Class vessels are earmarked for the Gabriola/Nanaimo route to provide a much-needed increase in capacity.

The Ferry Commissioner has posted the application on their website, along with a notice inviting public comment. Deadline for public comments is November 30, 2018. Please consider taking a moment to let the Ferry Commissioner know what you think.

FAC Meeting Debrief

Couldn’t make last week’s FAC meeting? We’ve got you covered. Check out our updated Agendas & Minutes page for everything you missed. And if you really want to indulge your inner ferry geek, here’s a link to BC Ferries document outlining their plans for Performance Term 5. Warning! This is not a read for the faint of heart. If you’re the type to skip to the juicy bits, the information most pertinent to the Gabriola Route shows up between page 150 & 155. Happy Reading.

Next FAC Meeting

The next meeting of Gabriola Ferry Advisory Committee will be Friday October 19th at 11:30 at the GAC Hall.

Members of the public are invited to attend this meeting, but are reminded that this will NOT be an open house session. You will be welcome to speak on a particular topic, but please contact the Chair by email  at gabriola.fac@gmail.com ahead of the meeting. We will try and ensure that time is available for anyone who wishes to speak.

If you are unable to attend this meeting but would like the FAC to raise a matter on your behalf, please feel free to email us with details of your question.

 

Schedule Update

Please note that as of October 9, 2018 the Quinsam is on a new-to-us Fall/Winter/Spring schedule. The important change is that the mid-afternoon sailings which were restored for the busy summer season are now only running on selected weekends when traffic volume is expected to be high. See our schedule page for details.

Sailing Cancellation August 8th

BC Ferries has canceled tomorrow’s 610 sailing because of the Snowbird demonstration – plan accordingly!

Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island

Modified Sailing Schedule

August 8, 2018

Snowbirds CH.I.L.D Demonstration

Please be advised there will be a sailing cancellation on Wednesday August 8, 2018 at 6:10 PM to support the RCAF Snowbirds CH.I.L.D demonstration over Nanaimo Harbour.

Below is the sailing schedule for Wednesday August 8, 2018 between Nanaimo Harbour and Descanso Bay, Gabriola Island.

Leave Nanaimo Harbour Leave Gabriola Island
6:55 am 6:15 am
8:10 am 7:35 am
9:25 am 8:50 am
*10:40 am DANGEROUS CARGO ONLY 10:05 am
11:55 am 11:20 am
1:10 pm 12:35 pm
2:25 pm 1:50 pm
3:45 pm 3:05 pm
5:00 pm 4:20 pm
*6:10 pm CANCELLED *5:35 pm DANGEROUS CARGO to DUKE POINT
7:15 pm 6:40 pm
9:00 pm 8:25 pm
11:00 pm 9:30 pm

BC Ferries favours the two-ship option to replace Quinsam by 2022

BC Ferries has today issued a news release indicating that that they have invited  Expressions of Interest construction of of four new Island Class (M47) vessels, including two for the Gabriola route

This RFEOI is partially linked to the engagement/survey process carried out over the past 10 days, including the visits to Gabriola and Quadra this Monday and Tuesday.  Although the survey seeking public preference of either ‘2 x Island Class or 1 x Shuttle100’ only ended today, BC Ferries says they have received sufficient internal and external indications to now expect to replace Route 19 and 23 vessels by 2022 each with two Island Class (47 vehicle) vessels.Exterior-20172707-649x225

BC Ferries cautions that these plans still require approval from their Board and from the Ferry Commissioner.  Board members and the Commissioner have been kept informed as BCF has been conducting analysis of these ideas.

It can be seen in the release that there is still another step (Request for Pre-Qualifications) to undertake even prior to BCF issuing an actual Request for Proposals, which is the step that secures a shipyard to build these vessels. BC Ferries will be opening the RFP to all shipyards within BC, across Canada and internationally… and even though two Island Class vessels are already being built in Europe, these shipyards will still have to bid if they wish to compete for the new contract as BCF owns the design and the new contract will be to build to the existing design, with the goal to award contracts by the end of 2018.

The full media release from BC Ferries can be downloaded here.  For more information about the new Island Class ferries, please visit the BC Ferries website