Fulford terminal passenger walkway and operator cab replacement

BC Ferries will be carrying out construction activities to replace the foot passenger walkway and operator cab on the ramp at Fulford Harbour. This work will begin on September 6 and will continue during weekdays until October 7, 2022. During the construction period, there will be a need to carry out night work over four nights. This night work is required to ensure there is no impact to operations. Night work is planned to occur: September 13 & 14, and 21 & 22, 2022. Equipment being used during the night work may increase the normal sound levels within the terminal from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am, however, all efforts will be made to minimize noise. During construction activities, there will be temporary changes to the foot passenger routing to and from the vessel. Foot passengers are asked to follow signage and direction from ship and terminal staff. BC Ferries would like to thank customers and neighbours for their understanding as we complete the necessary work.
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Back to school transportation safety

Whether you are a parent, student, teacher or motorist, we all have a key role to play in ensuring our kids head back to school safely. The start of the school year is the perfect time for reviewing and practising pedestrian road safety strategies for the entire family. Pedestrians Use designated crosswalks and follow crossing signals where available. When crossing major roads, make sure that all lanes of traffic have stopped – don’t assume that traffic will stop for you. Make eye contact with drivers before stepping out onto crosswalks. Dress to be seen. Wear bright colours or reflective material whenever possible. Always be aware of your surroundings. Remove headphones and put electronic devices away. Drivers Slow down. 30km/h speed limit is in effect in school zones from 8:00am to 5:00pm on school days. Leave yourself extra time to get through school zones. Drop off and pick up times can be especially busy and congested. Focus on the road by…
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BC Ferries Wi-Fi available at 14 more terminals including Long Harbour and Vesuvius Bay

The Province and BC Ferries partnership project to install Wi-Fi service to 14 additional ferry terminals as part of the Connecting British Columbia program has been completed This brings the total number of terminals with free Wi-Fi access to 21. The project is part of the $1.5 million grant fund given through the Ministry of Citizens Services’ Connecting British Columbian program, which is in place to keep British Columbians connected in smaller coastal communities. The access to free Wi-Fi allows people travelling the ability to connect for work, leisure or general trip information while waiting for their ferry or upon arriving at their destination. Terminals where we recently added free Wi-Fi service: Cormorant Island (Alert Bay) Cortes Island (Whaletown) Denman Island East (Gravelly Bay) Gabriola Island (Descanso Bay) Galiano Island (Sturdies Bay) Mayne Island (Village Bay) Nanaimo (Nanaimo Harbour) Pender Island (Otter Bay) Port Hardy (B…
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Cyclists rally for safe cycling on Salt Spring and in support of the proposed Salish Sea Bike Trail

On July 20th, a group of about 30 dedicated island cyclists met our local MLA Adam Olsen in Fulford for a bike ride to Ganges to promote the Salish Sea bike trail on Salt Spring Island. As we all know, Salt Spring does not have safe bicycle paths along the majority of our roads and is not really considered a very safe cycling destination. However Salt Spring Island being a major tourist attraction could easily become a wonderful place to visit by bike or ebike if only our roads were safer. Adam Olsen has been working on this vision along with various community groups as well as CRD and MoTI representatives and he gave a brief speech and took questions and answers once the rally arrived at Centennial Park. One of the main concerns expressed by many in attendance is how little has been done by previous administrations on this issue in spite of having been on the political agenda for decades and Adam announced that there are some promising developments. A study is currently und…
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A big win for safe cycling - province funds road study

We write today with some good news, finally, about safe cycling on Salt Spring, and the vision for the Salish Sea Trail network connecting Fulford to Vesuvius and the rest of our region. Plus, info about a fun ride next Wednesday with our MLA Adam Olsen. Two years ago we saw the opportunity of accessing federal covid-recovery funds to help bring this long held dream to life. By signing the petition for the Salish Sea Trail you and almost 2,000 fellow islanders were sending a message - we need safe cycling (and driving!) now, not in 20 years! Working with other enthusiasts at Cycling Salt Spring and Island Pathways, we were able to create alignment among the cycling and active transportation communities and get this big idea for a real solution on the radar. We then helped convene a working group consisting of all the agencies who shared some responsibility for our roads. The trouble was, because of our diffuse (and most would say, dysfunctional) form of government, the…
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Simultaneous BC Ferries cancellations at both Fulford, Vesuvius and Long Harbour

BC Ferries has posted cancellation notices for both ferries on Salt Spring Island serving Vancouver Island impacting travel for the remainder of the today, July 17th, 2022, as well as for travel between Tsawwassen and Long Harbour. Monitor the Salt Spring Exchange live cams at the Fulford Terminal, Vesuvius Terminal and the Vesuvius Dock for real-time views on this unfolding issue. These are BC Ferries notices for the following route(s): Crofton - Salt Spring Island (Vesuvius Bay) Issued at: 2:05 pm Due to crew availability on the Quinsam the following sailings have been cancelled: 7:55 pm departing Crofton 8:30 pm departing Vesuvius Bay 9:00 pm departing Crofton 9:30 pm departing Vesuvius Bay The 10:00 pm departing Crofton is still scheduled to sail. We are actively working to source a water taxi to provide supplementary service for these cancelled sailings. We require a specific number of crew members on board the vessel to ensure the safety of our …
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Speed, distracted driving and driving under the influence major contributing factors to transport-related injuries and deaths

National Injury Prevention Day on July 5 aims to raise awareness about injuries. According to the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, injuries are the number one cause of death for people aged 1 to 44, and the reason for over 35,000 hospital visits and 8,000 permanent disabilities every year in B.C. Most injuries are predictable and preventable.

“Injuries represent an often overlooked problem, but the real tragedy is that we pay too little attention to the simple things we can do to avoid injuries and the suffering that results,” says Dr. Murray Fyfe, Interim Vice President – Population Health and Chief Medical Health Officer for Island Health.

Transport-related injuries are just one cause of injury and remain a leading cause of death for children and youth, and a leading cause of hospitalization for adults aged 25 to 34. Speed, distracted driving and driving under the influence…

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BC Ferries offers deep discounts on inter-island routes

Now that summer has finally arrived, BC Ferries is launching a promotion on select sailings on 11 of its inter-island routes from July 6 through September 1 for local residents and vacationers to soak up the savings. The promotion is designed to encourage customers to travel on less busy sailings by giving them a discount, freeing up space at more popular times. Customers with flexibility in their travel plans can save significantly on standard or overheight vehicle fares when they travel on select early morning or late evening sailings. The promotion applies to specific inter-island (non-bookable) routes where there is capacity available. The 75 per cent discount off the standard rate will be applied at the terminal and is not available for purchase in advance. BC Ferries recommends customers arrive early to ensure they make it on the sailing of choice. Regular fares will apply for driver and passengers, however, those travelling with an Experience™ Card can st…
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‘Love Local’ across the Southern Gulf Islands - Enjoy Mayne Island

All spring, the Chambers of Commerce from Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna, and Salt Spring have been ‘island hopping’, showing local residents how to shop, eat, and stay where their hearts are— here in our interconnected island communities. Our last stop on this Southern Gulf Islands tour is Mayne Island, and just in time to plan your own island hopping adventure with Tour Des Iles this weekend, June 24-26. S,ḴŦAḴ, the SENĆOŦEN name for what we call Mayne Island in English, is both peaceful and active, offering meaningful recreation year-round. Among its eclectic and welcoming residents, you’ll find boating, hiking, biking, nature touring, shopping, dining, beach combing, and just "chillin", as the islanders say. The passion for supporting local is especially strong here so be sure to peruse its many galleries and studios scattered around the island; head to Terrill Welch Gallery for landscape paintings, Water’s Edge Silver for nature-inspired sterling silver jewelry, and Qu…
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Summer service change coming to Salt Spring Island

BC Transit and the Capital Regional District are announcing a seasonal service change for the Salt Spring Island Transit System effective June 29, 2022. Service on select routes in the system is being adjusted to match demand and align with BC Ferries’ schedules. These changes cause other routes, which do not directly serve the ferry terminals, to be adjusted as well. In addition, the service change sees the implementation of Route 9 service to Ruckle Park for the summer season. For more information on the service change, fares and schedules, please visit bctransit.com/salt-spring-island.
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Round Saltspring returns with its 47th race around the rock

After a two-year hiatus during Covid precautions, the Saltspring Island Sailing Club welcomed 77 skippers and their crews to its popular Round Saltspring Race weekend on May 20th-22nd. The long weekend event brought back all the traditions that have made it the “coast’s favourite regatta”. Friday night featured a BBQ with live music by Saltspring Sailing Club’s house band, The Wharf Rats. The popular Sunday pancake breakfast served by the local Lions Club was followed by the awards presentation, where winners in every division took home lavish prizes, including picnic bags filled with gourmet Saltspring goodies. The 42-mile course around Saltspring is always a tactical challenge for racers, with strong currents, unpredictable wind shifts, and typical light airs at the north and south ends of the island. The 2022 race was no exception. Light airs predominated, and the calms at Fulford Harbour and Southey Point created “parking lots” where the fleet stopped, compressed, reshuf…
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We need safer cycling infrastructure now and for the future

It’s GoByBike Week in B.C., Walk & Wheel Month on Salt Spring, and the busy summer cycling season is about to begin. All cycling on our island is on road shoulders, none of which are more than 0.6m where paved. The rest are gravel or non-existent, many with drop-offs into ditches. What to do about this? Every newcomer has the great idea that we need to get decent, consistent, paved shoulders for safer cycling. So let’s get ‘er done! That was me in 2005, three years into living on island, upon joining the Regional Trail Task Force (SSI-RTTF) that CRD-Director Gary Holman started. I saw the following newly minted CRD map and got the bug. We’d get Salt Spring’s part of this fabulous loop done in no time. Before the SSI-RTTF folded in 2008, Gary started the Transportation Commission (SSITC), and I created a different version of this map, which I’ve modified over the years. I called this great vision the Salish Sea Trail Network, an informal name that stuck. …
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How to ‘Love Local’ across the Southern Gulf Islands - Find an oasis on Galiano Island

The Chambers of Commerce from Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna, and Salt Spring have been ‘island hopping’ this spring, encouraging local residents to shop, eat, and stay where their hearts are. Because our communities are interconnected, supporting our neighbour islands strengthens our region as a whole. Our next stop on this Southern Gulf Islands tour is Galiano Island: tag along! Known as the gem of the Salish Sea, Galiano Island boasts an impressive list of trails and some of the most creative food west of the mainland. Find cliffside views, views, and more views with a visit to the Bluffs, a hike up Mount Galiano, or by exploring Bodega Ridge Provincial Park. Meander the shoreline at one of the island’s 69 shore access points or with an afternoon at Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park, with its white shell beaches, open meadows, and tidal lagoons. Or adventure to an isolated refuge with incredible sandstone formations at Dionisio Point Provincial Park which is access…
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New live cam with views of the Vesuvius Dock and Stuart Channel

Just in time for the long-weekend, and the beginning of typically higher volumes of ferry traffic, the Salt Spring Exchange is pleased to announce the latest addition to our travel planning and local tourism live cam network. This new live cam has a view of the ferry slip at the Vesuvius Dock, the waters of Stuart Channel and a sneak peak of the mill in Crofton thrown in for good measure. Now, in addition to being able to have a view of the traffic in the terminal at Vesuvius with our Vesuvius Terminal cam, you can also have a better sense of where the ferry is at in its travels across the channel, along with real-time wind and water conditions. We also might be able to see a nice view of the sunsets at different times of the year! Special thank you to the good folks at Seaside Restaurant who are generously helping to host this cam. Visit them to enjoy their fantastic fish and chips and more! Support local businesses who support our local community. Thank you for suppo…
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How to ‘Love Local’ across the Southern Gulf Islands - Explore the unexplored on Saturna Island

Keeping the spirit of ‘Love Local’ alive, the Chambers of Commerce from Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna, and Salt Spring invite you to continue shopping, eating, and staying where your heart is. Our next stop on our Southern Gulf Islands tour is Saturna Island: join us! Wilderness and rural scenery abound in the unhurried serenity that is Saturna Island. With the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve protecting over half the island’s landscape, you can find the time and space to watch the eagles soar above, the orcas swim past, and the sun sink out of the sky. Whether you choose to cycle across the island, sleep under the stars, kayak beneath ancient cliffs, or hike along the highest point in the Islands, a visit to Saturna means being part of its cozy island family, if only for a moment. A drive to the top of Mount Warburton Pike is one activity that’s not to be missed. Take in the stunning view of Vancouver Island, the San Juan Islands, and the Olympic Peninsula while hiki…
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Increased bus service this spring on Salt Spring Island

BC Transit and the Capital Regional District are informing transit customers of some seasonal changes, beginning Saturday May 7, 2022. These spring changes will see an increase in some trips to align with ferry schedules. The changes will affect the Saturday schedule for route 2 Fulford Harbour. There will be an earlier morning service to meet the first ferry of the day as well as southbound service along Cusheon Lake Road on select trips. For more information on fares, routes and schedules, please check your Rider’s Guide or visit bctransit.com/salt-spring-island
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Harbour Authority of Salt Spring Island eco-certifies all eight local facilities

The Harbour Authority of Salt Spring Island has certified all eight of its facilities in through the Georgia Strait Alliance’s Clean Marine BC program, an eco-certification program that supports boating facilities to make improvements that benefit the marine environment and also extend to business operations. The eight facilities, located around Salt Spring Island, have all achieved four-anchor ratings out of five. CMBC anchor ratings range from one anchor for facilities that comply with federal and provincial legislation and are starting to implement environmental best practices to five anchor facilities, which have comprehensive and stronger operational and ecosystem conservation initiatives. These may include reducing and containing toxins, collecting and disposing of various wastes, conserving water and energy, as well as emergency preparedness, and habitat protection initiatives. “Certifying all eight of our facilities is already having a positive impact on the local…
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BC Ferries crewing challenges expected for peak summer season

As experienced throughout the fall and winter of 2021/22, the impact of crew shortages at BC Ferries is expected to continue through the spring and into summer, affecting sailing times and plans to provide additional service on some routes. BC Ferries is not alone in facing recruitment challenges. The states of Washington and Alaska, along with New Zealand and interior ferries here in B.C. have announced the impact crew shortages are having on sailings and the level of service they can provide. Higher than expected retirements in key shipboard positions, the impact of vaccination policies and difficulties recruiting international candidates due to COVID-19, as well as the 25-year global shortage of professional mariners are expected to pose ongoing challenges to hiring sufficient employees for what is expected to be a busier than usual peak summer season. Adding to crewing challenges are changing travel patterns coming out of the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sp…
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Legislation introduced to support ferry passengers

The provincial government is introducing changes to the Coastal Ferry Act to increase oversight of the public interest in delivery of coastal ferry services. Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, tabled Bill 7 on Feb. 23, 2022. As BC Ferries recovers from the pandemic, the legislative amendments will help ensure people living in B.C.’s coastal communities, and all British Columbians, continue to be well served and supported by the ferry service. In 2019, based on recommendations in the coastal ferry review conducted by Blair Redlin, the role of BC Ferries’ shareholder, the B.C. Ferry Authority, was expanded to oversee the strategic direction of BC Ferries to support the public interest. Increased oversight is important to ensure affordable and reliable ferry service for all travellers, including those on the 25 routes serving coastal communities. The legislative amendments will build on the changes made in 2019 by ensuring the authority is bett…
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Increasing cost of fuel leads to BC Ferries fuel surcharge

BC Ferries is advising customers that due to current fuel market conditions, the company will implement a fuel surcharge of 1.0 per cent on March 1. BC Ferries closely monitors the cost of fuel and applies a rebate or surcharge, or neither, under a regulatory process that is set by the BC Ferries Commissioner. Here is an example of what a 1.0 per cent fuel surcharge will be: 15 cents for an adult and 55 cents for a vehicle on the Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island routes, and 5 cents for an adult and 20 cents for a vehicle on a variety of inter-island routes. Over the past 18 years, BC Ferries has been using a fuel rebate/surcharge mechanism to manage the volatility in the price of fuel. When fuel prices are lower, BC Ferries passes lower fuel prices on to customers through a fuel rebate. When fuel prices are higher, BC Ferries charges a fuel surcharge specifically designed to cover the additional cost of fuel. There have also been periods with neither. The company does n…
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Salt Springers leading the electric vehicle charge

John Holmes with his Nissan Leaf charging up at ArtSpring

It’s a grey January day, and John Holmes pulls up to the charger at Artspring, “Round trip from my house in the Northend to get a load of gravel at Lee's hill was 50 cents.” He has been driving his Nissan Leaf for the past five years and estimates he has saved about $2,500/year in fuel costs since switching from gas to electric. These savings might entice potential electric vehicle (EV) drivers, especially as fuel costs in BC are climbing again. According to the Vancouver Island Free Daily, the provincial average was $1.49 in 2021 versus $1.19 per litre in 2020. The Saanich News reported that post-Christmas gas prices in Greater Victoria are the highest they’ve been in 5 years at $1.65. Despite the attractive savings electric vehicles offer, many islanders are still on the fence about making the leap. “I would seriously consider an EV but just waiting for more range and affordabl…
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