A model of one of the vessels Island Ferries hopes will eventually service a Nanaimo-Vancouver route. Black Press file

Island Ferries says it won’t be starting service this summer

Vancouver-Nanaimo foot ferry service still negotiating and working through approval processes

Foot ferry service between Nanaimo and Vancouver won’t be starting up this summer.

Island Ferry Services Ltd. posted an update on its Facebook page Monday, advising that “regrettably, we won’t be starting service this summer.”

Island Ferries explained what it’s been working on and what it still needs to achieve before any service could be implemented.

“Frankly, we aren’t in control of the approval and negotiating timeline but, once these goals are met, we will be able to set a date for the start of service,” the update reads. “That date will take into account the many activities that we have previously said need to be done in order to carry our first passengers.”

RELATED: Island Ferries announces next step in bid to dock at SeaBus terminal

Island Ferries says it needs to design, receive approval and create infrastructure at the Nanaimo Port Authority and SeaBus terminals. It also needs to set up its “back-office systems” around staffing its various departments, from ticketing and reservations to ship and terminal crews. Island Ferries also has yet to take delivery of the two catamarans which would be used.

Island Ferries is also completing an environmental assessment which it says involves consultation with the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

As well, it says it is still negotiating with TransLink on licensing arrangements at the Vancouver SeaBus terminal, and will need Vancouver Fraser Port Authority approval for modifications there.

Island Ferries acknowledged in its update that “the news will be disappointing to many,” but says it is working the necessary processes and appreciates the support and interest it’s received.

“We are still investing on this project and remain fully committed to providing this much needed, and highly desired, Nanaimo-Vancouver service,” the update reads.

More to come

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