To the editor,
Re: Hybrid ferries part of efforts to cut emissions, Sept. 26.
Einstein wisely stated that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result was the definition of insanity.
Last month, B.C. Ferries lauded new ships and increased sailing frequency for the Gabriola route as well as huge (in the billions) investments in new ships that may or may not be electric in future. B.C. Ferries’ announcement neglected to mention the already-planned expenditure of millions at the Horseshoe Bay terminal.
If B.C. Ferries wants to reduce fuel consumption (they have already indicated it is their highest single operating cost) and make plans that would require less future massive capital expenditures they could announce bold moves to do two things:
Build a bridge to Gabriola Island and a new terminal on the southeast corner of the island, and build a new terminal adjacent to YVR and the Canada Line.
These two steps would eliminate the subsidized Gabriola route and provide 24/7 access to Gabriola as opposed to the hourly service planned for the new ships. Additionally, creating a new route with a terminus adjacent to YVR could reduce the amount of traffic at Horseshoe Bay and significantly shorten travel time and fuel consumption of ferries bound for Greater Vancouver from the Island. The new Gabriola terminal would also result in a requirement for fewer ships to service travellers and freight that are the life blood of Vancouver Island. The connection to the Canada Line would likely reduce the number of vehicles travelling to Vancouver.
Both of the present Gabriola terminals as well as the Duke Point and Departure Bay terminals could be eliminated.
If I was a cynic, I’d suggest that the announcement from B.C. Ferries followed by the announcement by the federal NDP leader of a $30 million per year payment to B.C. Ferries was orchestrated by the federal and provincial NDP to help their candidates in the October federal election, but since I’m not, I’ll just suggest that when it comes to B.C. Ferries planning, common sense is not very common anymore.
Fred McCreath, Nanaimo
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