Route 19 Performance

Route 19 (Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island)


Monthly traffic reports (showing % change in traffic volumes from previous year)

Monthly traffic statistics for other routes can be found on the BC Ferries website. Scroll down the page to select Traffic Statistics

Average daily traffic – monthly comparisons

To see more clearly how the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted ferry travel to and from Gabriola, the following chart compares monthly vehicle and passenger volumes through 2020 and 2021 with pre-pandemic traffic levels recorded during 2019.

Over the past two years, travel restrictions led to a reduction of around 55,000 vehicle trips and 333,000 passenger trips on Route 19 – equivalent to almost $1.4 million in lost fares revenue. While the volume of vehicle traffic on the route has recovered, passenger trips remained 12% down in the last four months of 2021. The impact on other ferry routes varied significantly, as can be seen from a report here produced by our data analyst, former FAC Chair John Hodgkins.

 Quarterly performance since 2018 – Vehicles carried

Quarterly performance since 2018 – Passengers carried

Quarterly performance since 2018 – Vehicle capacity utilisation

In this chart, the ORANGE line tracks the percentage of deck space utilised according to the Automobile Equivalent (AEQ) measure now adopted by BC Ferries, based on each AEQ occupying 6.1m of deck space, giving the MV Quinsam a notional capacity of 63 AEQs.

However, since the MV Quinsam routinely accommodates at least 70 vehicles, the RED line tracks the percentage of deck space utilised under the former AEQ definition (5.34m) under which the stated capacity of the MV Quinsam was 70.

The stated capacity of each of the Island-Class vessels MV Island Kwigwis and MV Island Gwawis which are due to take over service on this route in Spring 2022 is 47 AEQs – about 25% smaller than MV Quinsam – which is likely to limit the actual number of vehicles carried to around 50.

Quarterly performance since 2018 – Sailing overloads

Quarterly performance since 2018 – On-time performance

Annual operating and financial performance for Route 19

What do ferry users think of the service provided by BC Ferries?

The following charts show how customer satisfaction among ferry users on Route 19 has been affected by schedule changes and increasing traffic volumes.

Each of the charts tracks public reaction to the service cuts of Summer 2014 and the recovery in service provision from 2015 onwards, as well as the impact of increasing pressure on the ferry service as traffic has increased since 2015.