BC Ferries have now published the final schedule which they propose to operate from April 28, 2014. The schedule contains a number of changes requested by the Gabriola Ferry Working Group.

Details of the final schedule can be found on our Ferry Schedule page here.  Please note that a different schedule will apply between June 25 and September 5.

Here’s a summary of the main changes in the latest BC Ferries proposal, compared to today’s service:

  • The first departure from Gabriola on weekdays will leave at 5.30 am, not 5.25 am. It will not operate on Saturdays or Sundays.
  • The 6.30 am departure from Gabriola will now operate 7 days a week.
  • The 7:40 am departure from Gabriola is retimed to 7:35 am. It will NOT operate on Sundays.
  • Departures from Gabriola during the remainder of the morning and early afternoon are retimed (see schedule).
  • During peak summer (June 25 to September 5) a different morning schedule, with one extra sailing, will apply on Monday to Friday.
  • There will be an early afternoon break (approximately 2 hours) when crews will change over.
  • Afternoon peak departures leave Nanaimo at 3:50 pm; 5:00 pm; 6:10 pm; 7:20 pm and 8:20 pm every day.
  • The last departure from Nanaimo will leave at 11:05 pm each evening, except Sundays (10:30 pm)
  • On Wednesdays, the 11:05 am from Nanaimo and 5:35 pm from Gabriola will be restricted to Dangerous Cargo.
  • Wednesday evenings the ferry will be refuelled between 10-11pm. As a result, the 10:05pm round trip from Nanaimo will not operate on Wednesdays.
  • The last departure from Gabriola will be at 9:35 pm on Wednesdays and Sundays and 10:35pm on all other days.

Throughout its dialogue with BC Ferries, the Ferry Working Group took note of feedback from the community and has put forward changes to the proposed schedule to minimise the impact on people who rely on the ferry service for work, education and other essential travel. We came to realise that no single solution would suit everybody – and inevitably there will be a few people whose travel needs will not be served by the new schedule.  We hope you will understand that we could not meet everyone’s needs – and that you will be able to adapt your travel arrangements around the new schedule.

We are all going to find that the ferry will be busier at times – and to assist drivers, the Ferry Advisory Committee has published a guide to the Best Times to Travel which can be found on this website. The new service pattern will be kept under close review during the first few months of operation and the Ferry Advisory Committee will be working with BC Ferries to ‘fine tune’ the schedule over the coming months.

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