Over the past year, BC Ferries conducted a public consultation process to review schedules for the following island routes Pender Island, Mayne Island, Saturna Island, Galiano Island, and Salt Spring Island through Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay. This process included public surveys, public meetings, small working group sessions with local community representatives and employee working group meetings.BC Ferries thanks customers for their participation in this scheduling initiative. The Southern Gulf Islands service is a complex network and with two vessels coming into service in 2017, it was important to take this opportunity to collectively work with the communities to shape the service for the future. The new schedules for the Southern Gulf Islands take effect May 2017.
New 2017 Schedule Highlights
Travel to and from Tsawwassen
- In the peak season, there will be more sailing opportunities and a 46% increase in capacity in the system. Inter-island connections are maintained on weekdays and there are more direct sailing opportunities on the weekends. The new schedules with two Salish Class vessels will result in increased sailing opportunities.
- Before and after the summer, the second vessel continues to operate offering a better balance of capacity with demand, primarily boosting weekend service with additional sailings and capacity. This shoulder season service (pre and post summer) has been expanded to start at the beginning of May and finish on the Thanksgiving weekend.
- The off-peak schedules remain similar to the current service with additional sailings on busy days and new timings to facilitate connecting sailings.
Travel to and from Swartz Bay
- Swartz Bay to Southern Gulf Island service has been optimized to work with the new Salish Class vessels.
- Adjustments to the schedule during the busier months will help in maintaining on-time departures and arrivals.
- The larger vessel will stop more often at ports where there is greater demand.
- Departure times have been adjusted to allow for Tsawwassen connections.
- A pilot program for Thru Fare customers (Tsawwassen travellers going via Swartz Bay) was introduced to improve the connectivity to Southern Gulf Island ferries. Early indications are very positive and the pilot will further enhance travel opportunities for customers.
- Dangerous Cargo sailings have been scheduled year round on Sunday mornings with no seasonal changes that disrupt Monday and Wednesday travel.
BC Ferries thanks our customers for their support and participation in the Southern Gulf Islands Schedule Consultation. The Southern Gulf Islands service is an extremely complex network and with two new vessels coming into service in 2017, it was important to take this opportunity to help us shape our service for the future.
Read the full new schedules below: