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.
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.
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 email@example.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.
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.
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
|*10:40 am DANGEROUS CARGO ONLY
|*6:10 pm CANCELLED
||*5:35 pm DANGEROUS CARGO to DUKE POINT
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.
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
BC Ferries wants to hear from you. The question they want answered is: When the Quinsam is replaced, would you prefer one larger vessel that provides similar sailing frequency as the current service, or two smaller vessels with increased sailing frequency?
To receive your feedback, they are hosting a drop-in information session Monday, July 23 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at the Gabriola Arts & Heritage Centre. Can’t make that date? There is an online survey at: https://www.bcferries.com/about/projects/routes-19-23.html. Please take a few minutes to fill it out. You have from today until July 26th.
BC Ferries today announced that due to current world fuel market conditions, the
company will remove the fuel rebates currently in place on June 27, 2018. BC Ferries closely monitors the cost of fuel and from time to time applies a rebate or surcharge under a regulatory process that is independent of tariffs.
BC Ferries uses a fuel rebate/surcharge mechanism to manage volatility in the price of fuel. When fuel prices are lower, BC Ferries passes lower fuel prices on to customers through a fuel rebate. When fuel prices are higher, BC Ferries charges a fuel surcharge specifically designed to cover the additional cost of fuel. The company does not benefit financially from the mechanism, as income raised from surcharges goes into a regulated Fuel Deferral Account, which is then drawn down to pay for rebates when the price of fuel falls.
Fuel rebates of 2.9 per cent for the major and minor routes and 1.9 per cent for the northern routes have been in place since the spring of 2016. Since that time, the price of fuel has progressively risen, but with government intervention the rebates remained in place, resulting in a $13 million deficit in the Fuel Deferral Account by March 2018.
This deficit was zeroed in April by agreement with the Provincial government, but the ongoing increases in fuel prices mean the fuel rebate is now being removed. For Gabriolans, the net effect will be a 30 cent increase in round-trip passenger fares and a 70 cent increase on the cost of a round-trip vehicle fare. Fare changes for experience card users will be proportionately less.
For details and draft concepts of the terminal development plans follow these links:
Between now and May 30, you can provide feedback to BC Ferries by completing the short survey at the link below. You can also send your feedback by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow this link to complete the BC Ferries survey and submit your comments on either plan.
It’s a holiday weekend once more and some ferries will be busier than usual. Last year’s busiest ferries are shown in black and red in the chart below – and we expect this year to be busier than ever, with ferry traffic up another 5% since 2017.
Don’t forget, though, that the 1.50pm ferry from Gabriola and 2.25 from Nanaimo will be back this year on Easter Saturday and Sunday. A printable copy of this chart can be found here