BC Ferries has advised the FAC of schedule changes planned for the Gabriola -Nanaimo route starting Tuesday, November 8. The changes being planned are:

  • On Saturdays there will now be 4:35 pm and 5:05 pm sailings from both Nanaimo and Gabriola. To achieve this the 6:35 am from Nanaimo and the 7:05 am from Gabriola will be dropped in favour of the higher-demand times in the afternoon.
  • The 6:35 am sailings from Nanaimo will be dropped seven days a week. BC Ferries has found these sailings are not well utilized but are driving delays, crew overtime, and fatigue because of the additional time required first thing in the morning to shift from the tie-up berth in the boat basin to the operational berth at Nanaimo Harbour. The plan is to take the ship directly from the tie-up berth to Descanso Bay to commence two-ship service from Gabriola starting with the well-utilized 7:05 am departure.

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  1. It would be fantastic if the ferries actually ran during the peak commuter times.
    As soon as the last of the double boat sailings are complete there is an overload.
    The commuter rush doesn’t stop at 1700 so why does the second ferry stop then?
    And crew fatigue after a six hour shift?? Get real! The only reason the shifts are short is so that you don’t have to give them full time status and that is not cool.
    Be right by your employees and be right to the people you serve.
    Focus on getting proper crew not on vacation packages. You are a ferry service first and foremost , not a travel agency. Please remember that.
    The two ferry system should go until 1900 at least. Otherwise why did you spend many many millions on these two ferries if you aren’t going to address the actual issue??
    Please do something about your shortcomings.

  2. So BCF:

    Between the fact that you guys are not using the ramps for loading (thereby losing 12 car spots per hour in each direction), and due to this elimination, you now provide a total of 82 car spots per hr during peak times (vs 69 with the Quinsam). And 41/hr during non-peak.

    This adds up to 46 more car spaces on the ferry total per day, and most of the benefits are for those who can use the ferry midday as opposed to commuters, as there is still no 5:40 ferry from Nanaimo.

    This is causing evening delays.

    Is this really worth $120 million+?

    You could’ve accomplished more impact by simply cancelling the evening tie up when we had the Quinsam.

    It would have cost you two officer’s missed meal breaks per day, at around $120/day, and some fuel.

    I am pretty sure that it would take a long time to add up to $120 million doing that.

    I agree with you cancelling those mornings sailings, but they need to be replaced with a 5:40 off of Nanaimo. They can also go back directly to the berth.

    Of course, now you have two deadhead runs on your hands, and at that rate it makes a heck of a lot more sense to have your short day ship be the Gabriola boat, and your long day ship, the Nanaimo boat. It would solve both your staffing issues AND your scheduling issues.

    You guys are kinda being penny wise and pound foolish.

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