Saturday afternoon, and the Agi Hall buzzed to the sound of Gabriolans grappling with the challenge of safeguarding the future of our connection to the ‘big island’ out there across the water. If the ferry debate at next Tuesday’s Provincial open house meeting (The Haven, 6-9pm, Tuesday 13th) is half as determined, it will be a meeting not to be missed.
Just a flavour of some of the topics up for debate:
- Are high ferry fares hitting property prices on Gabriola?
- Are attitudes to a bridge now changing in the face of ferry cuts?
- Is a submersible sea-bed tunnel to Duke Point a viable alternative?
- Can technical advances cut the cost of ferry services?
- Is the lack of financial information from BC Ferries a deliberate ploy to conceal the real cost of running the service to Gabriola?
- Is a car ferry to Duke Point a viable alternative, or would running a passenger service to downtown Nanaimo finish up costing us more?
- Has the time come for Gabriola to manage its own ferry service under direct contract with the government?
- How much needs to be done to improve transit in Nanaimo so fewer cars are needed to take the ferry?
- Can community transit work on Gabriola, to reduce car dependency?
- Why is the Province’s commitment to coastal ferries so different to the inland ferry system?
- Why has the Province increased their support to BC Transit by more than 50% since 2003 when their support for coastal ferry services has declined in real terms?