(News Bulletin file photo) Changes are coming to B.C. Ferries’ downtown Nanaimo terminal, which will undergo redevelopment starting in 2021.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. Ferries needs to make bold changes

Two letter writers think bridge needed to Gabriola

To the editor,

Re: Downtown ferry terminal plan approved, April 18.

First, B.C. Ferries announced approval of a plan to make changes to the downtown Nanaimo terminal for the Gabriola ferry. Second, a project is revealed to sell alcoholic beverages on a test basis to possibly enhance their revenue stream.

I fail to understand how making improvements to a money-losing route’s infrastructure and hoping to marginally increase revenues on some major routes will make any significant contribution to the bottom line. Based on recent service increases announced to routes that historically lose money, the revenue stream has already taken a bigger hit than a small amount of liquor sales can salvage.

The bleeding will continue.

If B.C. Ferries really wants to improve its revenue stream, why not do something bold. For a start, build the Gabriola Island bridge from Vancouver Island. Then, add a new terminal on the southeast corner of Gabriola Island to permit sailing to a second new terminal connected to the transportation complex already in place at YVR. Common sense (unfortunately not very common in 2019) would suggest that, since the system’s biggest single cost is fuel, reducing consumption by shortening the length of major routes (both Departure Bay and Duke Point could be reduced or eliminated) would produce greater bottom line benefits than a minor increase in revenue from liquor. Another advantage of a shortened route to YVR would be the ability to link to the Canada Line, significantly shorten travel time to downtown Vancouver and, perhaps, make a foot passenger-only service viable. It goes without saying that there would be a significant reduction in GHG emissions.

Fred McCreath, Nanaimo

RELATED: B.C. Ferries reveals plans for downtown Nanaimo terminal improvements

RELATED: Upgrades planned for Gabriola ferry terminal

Build bridges to and from Mudge

To the editor,

Re: Downtown ferry terminal plan approved, April 18.

The B.C. Ferries terminal expansion plan is a total waste of money and a terrible use of valuable waterfront property.

The best solution is to scrap this plan and for the highways department to construct two small bridges on Mudge Island which would connect Gabriola to Cedar by road and bridge.

This would eliminate the need for the Nanaimo to Gabriola car ferry which could then be replaced with a foot passenger-only ferry. The unused ferry terminus land could then be added to the proposed Port Place waterfront development land and would allow for the waterfront walkway to be extended to the south.

The outcome would be that B.C. Ferries would save millions in ferry replacement costs, maintenance, fuel and wages in the years to come and Nanaimo’s waterfront would be enormously enhanced, not to mention the myriad of benefits to Gabriola residents.

For Gabriola residents that wouldn’t like such a change, there could be a toll charged to travel to Gabriola by road.

Jim Newman, Nanaimo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Respect ferry etiquette

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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