BC Ferries Makes Changes to Vesuvius-Crofton Ferry After Overload Issues

Bowen Queen to be used during peak seasons - After hearing Vesuvius-Crofton customer concerns with overloads that affected their travel experience, BC Ferries met with Salt Spring community members in August to explore solutions for improvement.

Customers identified a number of common concerns, including insufficient vessel capacity, lack of customer amenities at terminals, inadequate customer information and commercial/dangerous good vehicles congesting peak time sailings. During the workshop, BC Ferries representatives and community members arrived at possible solutions and priorities for the ideas that would be most realistic to implement, while offering the greatest benefit.

As a result, BC Ferries will deploy the Bowen Queen (61 Automobile Equivalent – AEQ) on the route during peak seasons until the MV Quinsam (63 AEQ) is brought into service in a few years time. In 2020, the Bowen Queen will service the route between April and October. BC Ferries will then evaluate the service and determine the time periods that the Bowen Queen will be used in future peak seasons. The Bowen Queen can carry more standard vehicles than the Quinitsa (44 AEQ), but fewer commercial vehicles.

Other actions BC Ferries has taken include improved signage near the terminals regarding next available sailings. BC Ferries is also analyzing ways to provide more timely sailing information. Community representatives also asked BC Ferries to consider moving Dangerous Goods (DG) sailings to lower demand times, and this idea is being explored.

Meanwhile, terminal development plans for both Crofton and Vesuvius terminals are in progress, identifying changes that can be made at both terminals for improved customer experience for decades to come.

BC Ferries thanks all its customers who have shared feedback and suggestions on this service. The Company understands the importance of timely and reliable service, and is committed to making realistic changes that lead to improved service.

September 26, 2019 11:24 AM

Community Comments

  • Christopher Roy Christopher Roy says:

    This is a positive, temporary change and though consider that this run and the Swartz-Bay Run as excellent candidates for electric ferry options at vehicle capacities that support the traffic volume of our island community. This change will still result in significant overloads during regular and peak travel periods.

  • Avatar SSIDancer says:

    Given that BCF have no plans in the near future to upgrade to larger ships it is up to the traveller to think outta the box when going to and fro from our island if they wish to avoid significant delays. I seldom have difficulty year around by travelling during the 50% of the time the ships are not at full capacity in meeting my appointments, shopping, recreational and entertainment needs.

  • Avatar Peter Stephenson says:

    I just pretty much give up taking the ferry with a car if I can avoid it during the summer months. I walk on and use a bike, a bike and bus, or for some things that require more distance a motorbike instead. Not everyone has those options, but it would be good to assess them to see if you can....because BC Ferries is not going to up their game anytime soon. The increased capacity they propose is better than nothing, but preciously close to nothing.

  • Avatar chefmichelmobile says:

    Et voila!

  • Avatar Pierre Frisch says:

    The focus on bigger ferry is misguided. Both terminal have a vehicle capacity of approximately 50 cars. If you have a ferry with a higher capacity than the parking lot you have to store the waiting car somewhere else!!! i.e. on the public road in front of people houses and driveways. What we need if 2 smaller ferries…

  • Avatar Michael Dafoe says:

    Dangerous cargo should be late at night simple

  • Christopher Roy Christopher Roy says:

    That could be a smart solution. Has BC Ferries ever explore that?

  • Avatar Randalynn Webster says:

    It comes down to safety and accessibility. The over flow of traffic and parking at both Vesuvius and Fulford Harbour is unacceptable, and it is completely frustrating as a local and for tourists to not be able to park anywhere, especially close by, if you are dropping someone off or picking them up, or needing to go into a store, and on numerous occasions, it’s not even safe for vehicles or people on foot or bikes. Too many cars parked on the road, waiting for the ferry. It would make sense to build a floating bridge/ floating parking lot type of concept, and extend outwards, utilizing the space over the water.

  • Avatar cfowles says:

    The problem with all of us, including me, is that we want to live on an island but expect that we should come and go as if we live in Sydney or wherever.

  • Christopher Roy Christopher Roy says:

    Indeed and though there are many good ideas to improve the service BC Ferries can still act on but it is very important to keep this in mind. An island is an island. There is no perfect when it comes to ferry travel.

  • Avatar Renee Stephen says:

    Unfortunately that will likely mean an increase in costs for everybody, as businesses will have to pay overtime to get waste or fuel onto the island.