The Crofton terminal is located within the Municipality of North Cowichan on Vancouver Island. The terminal connects the community to Vesuvius Bay on Salt Spring Island. Passengers travel on the Howe Sound Queen for a 25 minute sailing. The Howe Sound Queen has a vehicle capacity of 52 AEQ* and can carry 300 passengers and crew. It is equipped with a car deck lounge, vending machine and washrooms and provides daily service year round. In May 2019, upon retirement of the Howe Sound Queen, the route will be serviced for approximately three years by the Quinitsa which has a vehicle capacity of 44 AEQ* and can carry 300 passengers and crew. By 2022, the Quinsam will provide ferry service between Crofton and Vesuvius Bay. This terminal is an important link between Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island for residents and visitors alike.
Switching to the Quinitsa
As of April 1, BC Ferries added sailings and adjusted some sailing times to the Vesuvius-Crofton route. The remainder of the adjustments will start as of May 1 in order to provide our Dangerous Goods (DG) operators a month's notice. Sailing times will start earlier each day, allowing extended access to or from Salt Spring Island. A year-round schedule will now have sailing times consistent across the entire week. This new schedule will be in place before the Quinitsa replaces the Howe Sound Queen, which retires on June 1, 2019. Although the Quinitsa can carry approximately eight fewer vehicles, it has a significantly greater weight capacity. This will result in fewer overloads or empty deck space when loading many large, heavy vehicles. Working with DG suppliers, we have moved DG sailings to less popular times, thus freeing up higher demand sailings for regular customers.
Terminal Development Plan
In February 2019, our Terminal Development team along with key staff from various departments at BC Ferries began the process of creating a Terminal Development Plan for the Crofton ferry terminal. The Terminal Development Plan is a long-term plan and vision for the terminal and involves identification of key issues and opportunities, conceptual options, identification of preferred concepts and the development of an implementation schedule for future terminal upgrades.
Engaging with the Community
In April, we started to engage with the community, our customers and key stakeholders to identify key issues and opportunities for the terminal and adjacent area. We value your ideas on how we can improve the ferry terminal.
At the April 29th Community Ideas Fair we presented some preliminary ideas that were developed with community representatives and key stakeholders earlier in April. We received your feedback on these ideas at the event, as well as in the survey responses. Your input will help us better understand the important role the terminal plays in your community and helps shape our future plans. You will have several opportunities to let us know what you think as this process moves forward.