Bold moves needed to save ferries

Re: Ferries float forward with cash infusion, May 12.

To the Editor,

Re: Ferries float forward with cash infusion, May 12.

When you look at all the costs, it is cheaper for people going to Vancouver airport to take Harbour Air than it is to take their cars.

Foot passenger traffic is way up on the ferries as more and more people are leaving their cars at home when they travel between the Island and the mainland.

It’s time to look at establishing a foot passenger service from Vancouver to Nanaimo run by B.C. Ferries.

A harbour-to-harbour service would serve the needs of the foot passenger far better than either existing route does now.  Business people, students and tourists would all benefit from a foot passenger ferry and the Canada Line makes the airport very accessible.

Cutting some of the sailings of the large conventional ferries would become possible with reduced foot traffic.

Close one of the terminals in Nanaimo.

It doesn’t make sense to have two that close together in a falling market. Once you have alternatives for foot traffic, one terminal should be sufficient to service car traffic.

Close Departure Bay, sell the land which would likely more than cover the cost of expanding Duke Point.

Foot passengers would have a convenient alternative and drivers have the wheels to get there. Some travellers would have further to go, some would be closer.

Remaking B.C. Ferries into something that works is going to require some bold moves, not more of the same.

Bob Winkler

Nanaimo