A B.C. Ferries vessel at Horseshoe Bay. (News Bulletin file photo)

A B.C. Ferries vessel at Horseshoe Bay. (News Bulletin file photo)

British Columbians asked to help envision ferry system’s future

B.C. transportation ministry surveying B.C. Ferries users

The B.C. government is asking passengers to help envision what the ferry system should look like in the coming decades.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is in the midst of a visioning process to consider over-arching priorities for B.C. Ferries users now and into the future. Following an initial phase of public engagement in the fall, the ministry is now launching an online survey at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/coastalferries.

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“Significant investments are being made in ferry infrastructure, with decisions being made today defining the service long into the future,” said Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure, in a press release. “We’re asking people what the coastal ferry service could look like in 20, 30 or 40 years, and how services should be delivered to better support people and families who live and work on our coast.”

Key themes heard at the public meetings in October and November, according to the ministry, indicated that coastal ferry services should support efficient end-to-end travel of people and goods, be equitable and accessible, mitigate and be responsive to climate change, and reflect the values of coastal communities.

“Transportation needs are changing, and coastal ferries should also evolve,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox, in the release. “We want to ensure we have a system in place that is adaptable, dependable and convenient.”

The notion of ‘end-to-end’ travel, according to the government’s Phase 1 report, considers ferries a s a link in a chain that includes “not only ferry service, but also connecting transportation services and infrastructure along the way between origins and destinations.”

The ministry’s “pre-engagement forums” were held in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, Sechelt and on Salt Spring Island and Haida Gwaii.

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editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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