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  #41  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2014, 10:49 AM
BCPhil BCPhil is offline
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
BC Ferries refuses to implement passenger-only as they make a lot of money on the cars.

Even if the Massey Tunnel can handle the traffic {and with the tolls planned for it will be a real cash cow for the province which is probably why they are doing this in the first place} but how do they get thru Vancouver to the North Shore, Burnaby or downtown?

Also, due to them building the SFPR both under capacity and full of stop lights it won't be able to handle the traffic either.

Also there are a lot of walk-ons that use transit especially in the summer. How will they be served. you can't have them on buses to the Canada Line as it is already over capacity and has no extra room to spare especially with people with lots of luggage and camping gear.

BC is deliberately running BC Ferries into the ground. The more they cut service or make it more difficult to use, the lower the ridership and that gives them an excuse to further cut the service. Gabriola Island has had it's service cut so badly that the real estate market is in complete collapse. They actually stopped all ferry service after 9:00 pm, meaning you can't even go to a movie in Nanaimo and god help you if you work late.
For people in half of Vancouver and Burnaby (and all of New West, Surrey, Delta, and Langley) it is easier to get to the 99/91 highway system than it is to get to Highway 1. There are 2 bridges crossing Burrard Inlet; there are about 5 bridge crossing combinations available to cross the Fraser. The SFPR flows really well (most traffic travels on it at 110+km/h), and could handle a lot more traffic, and the single light between the AFB and Tsawwassen is no big deal right now. A replaced tunnel with an 8 or 10 lane bridge will make getting to Tsawwassen a breeze compared to going over Burrard Inlet and up the upper levels. And I bet that an upgraded Massey will come with some new overpasses for the SFPR (as the preloading is already in place).

As for Transit, it is much more reliable out to Tsawwassen. You seem to assume everyone going to the ferries on Transit originates downtown and the 257 is the only bus they need to take. Just to get to the 257 most people and their luggage already have to contend with their crowded local service and probably Skytrain.

The Canada Line is under capacity outside of rush hour (ie most of the day) and the trains are designed for space for luggage. People are already bringing their luggage on board the train to the airport. Just get on a YVR bound train and there is plenty of room 90% of the day.

The bus from Bridgeport has dedicated lanes to the tunnel, makes a quick stop in Ladner, then heads straight to the ferry. No getting stuck in single lane traffic in the Park or on the LGB, no getting motion sick on the upper levels, no zig zagging through narrow local streets, and no damn locals taking up seats.

Commuters ride the 257 all the time. Commuters to Ladner/Tsawwassen have other, better buses for them to take, so there is more space for people who need that bus. I have missed the 257 and missed ferries because there are people riding it to their homes in Horseshoe Bay. It is also nice catching the bus at the Bridgeport bus loop as opposed to waiting for it on a busy street downtown.

Also, the 620 will wait at the terminal if the ferry is late. I've never been so fortunate with the 257 and late ferries.

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Originally Posted by casper View Post
Also of interest is that the Coho operated by the Black Ball line was built in 1959. Why is it they can operate this ship for 50 years and BC Ferries struggles with ships that are younger.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Coho
BC Ferries still operates the Queen of New Westminster on the Major routes, she was built in 1963. The Nanaimo, Burnaby, Powell River Queen, Bowen Queen, Mayne Queen and Tenaka were all laid down in 1964-65. Many other ships still operating the smaller routes were built in the 1970's, including the Queen of Alberni on the Duke Point run. The North Island Princess was built in 1958. Keep in mind, BC Ferries started operating in 1960.

Also, the major routes, which we seem to be talking about, aren't struggling. The top two routes make enough money to subsidize the rest of BC Ferries operations.

As well, the Coho carries 110 cars, and in winter will make 2 or 4 crossings a day. The Coastal ships carry 370, the Spirit ships 410, and between the Mainland and the Island tomorrow there will be 46 sailings from 6 ships (with extras on Friday). And that is just the 3 major routes.

Comparing Black Ball to BC Ferries is like comparing my etsy store to Amazon.
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  #42  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2014, 3:38 PM
WarrenC12 WarrenC12 is online now
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^^^^^^ preach on BCPhil. Agree with everything you've posted.
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  #43  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2014, 8:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post
For people in half of Vancouver and Burnaby (and all of New West, Surrey, Delta, and Langley) it is easier to get to the 99/91 highway system than it is to get to Highway 1. There are 2 bridges crossing Burrard Inlet; there are about 5 bridge crossing combinations available to cross the Fraser. The SFPR flows really well (most traffic travels on it at 110+km/h), and could handle a lot more traffic, and the single light between the AFB and Tsawwassen is no big deal right now. A replaced tunnel with an 8 or 10 lane bridge will make getting to Tsawwassen a breeze compared to going over Burrard Inlet and up the upper levels. And I bet that an upgraded Massey will come with some new overpasses for the SFPR (as the preloading is already in place).

As for Transit, it is much more reliable out to Tsawwassen. You seem to assume everyone going to the ferries on Transit originates downtown and the 257 is the only bus they need to take. Just to get to the 257 most people and their luggage already have to contend with their crowded local service and probably Skytrain.

The Canada Line is under capacity outside of rush hour (ie most of the day) and the trains are designed for space for luggage. People are already bringing their luggage on board the train to the airport. Just get on a YVR bound train and there is plenty of room 90% of the day.

The bus from Bridgeport has dedicated lanes to the tunnel, makes a quick stop in Ladner, then heads straight to the ferry. No getting stuck in single lane traffic in the Park or on the LGB, no getting motion sick on the upper levels, no zig zagging through narrow local streets, and no damn locals taking up seats.

Commuters ride the 257 all the time. Commuters to Ladner/Tsawwassen have other, better buses for them to take, so there is more space for people who need that bus. I have missed the 257 and missed ferries because there are people riding it to their homes in Horseshoe Bay. It is also nice catching the bus at the Bridgeport bus loop as opposed to waiting for it on a busy street downtown.

Also, the 620 will wait at the terminal if the ferry is late. I've never been so fortunate with the 257 and late ferries.


I agree with all of this. It's definitely easier to get to Tsawassen for the majority of the lower mainland by car or transit, and both the infrastructure leading to it, as well as the terminal itself can handle much, much more traffic than Horseshoe bay can.
The one thing I'll say though is that there are usually two 620 buses waiting for you if you are coming off of a ferry from Swartz Bay. Generally this is adequate, but on particularly busy days, they fill up and you can end up waiting another half hour or so for the next bus.



I do still think it makes some sense to have a terminal at Horseshoe bay, considering it connects directly to the Trans Canada highway. It would be weird to have the highway just end where the terminal currently is.
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  #44  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2014, 9:57 PM
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Maybe they could eventually designate the SFPR as the Trans-Canada Highway and get some Federal funding for upgrades?
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  #45  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2014, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Procrastinational View Post
I do still think it makes some sense to have a terminal at Horseshoe bay, considering it connects directly to the Trans Canada highway. It would be weird to have the highway just end where the terminal currently is.
I have this vague recollection that the Horseshoe Bay - Nanaimo route is subsidized by the Feds because it's considered to be part of the Trans Canada Highway. Or have I got that wrong?
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  #46  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2014, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Procrastinational View Post
I agree with all of this. It's definitely easier to get to Tsawassen for the majority of the lower mainland by car or transit, and both the infrastructure leading to it, as well as the terminal itself can handle much, much more traffic than Horseshoe bay can.
The one thing I'll say though is that there are usually two 620 buses waiting for you if you are coming off of a ferry from Swartz Bay. Generally this is adequate, but on particularly busy days, they fill up and you can end up waiting another half hour or so for the next bus.

I do still think it makes some sense to have a terminal at Horseshoe bay, considering it connects directly to the Trans Canada highway. It would be weird to have the highway just end where the terminal currently is.
I agree that there should still be car service from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo. But I think it is worth looking at making it more efficient by scaling it back and getting slightly smaller ferries for the route, then using Duke Point as the primary Nanaimo route. Then scale that route up with more ferries during the peak travel times. That part of the original NDP plan might be worth looking at again (just without money sunk into fast ferries).

The main problem with the Duke point run is the wait between ferries. 2 and 1/2 hours is a long wait if you don't make a specific sailing. It is so long that it is discouraging to take it. A 2 sailing wait on the other routes can be a shorter wait when ferries sail an hour apart. If you are going someplace between, like Duncan, even though it is closer to Duke Point, the trip through Victoria is often shorter just from the timing of the sailings and waits.

But of course I wouldn't implement it for years without infrastructure upgrades to the highways around the terminals. You need a new Massey crossing and upgrades to highway 17 (interchanges at Tsawwassen, 52, and 56 st would be nice, but they seem to be doing something right now, like adding more lanes) and the Duke point highway would need a couple more lanes.

BC Ferries should also look at passenger only service from Downtown Vancouver if this new private ferry falls through. A 1 hour crossing from Nanaimo to Downtown would be shorter than my transit commute to downtown from home. Nanaimo would be like a suburb of Vancouver.



During the summer I frequently see 3 buses leaving Tsawwassen. But I've never had any real issues with buses to/from Tsawwassen. I've had many with Horseshoe Bay.

I was waiting for a ride that was late the other weekend at Tsawwassesn and there were 2 buses picking people up. One was going regular via Ladner, the other direct to Bridgeport. The direct bus filled up quickly and became full, yet about 15 people stayed behind when there was plenty of room on the via Ladner bus. They were still waiting when I left. I don't know why they were so dumb not to get on a bus that spends an extra 10 minutes going through Ladner and chose to wait at least 30 minutes (for a bus that will for sure go through Ladner anyway). Some people; probably the same kind of people going to Metrotown that wait for the Expo Line train instead of getting on a Millennium line train.

Maybe everyone talking smack about busing to Tsawwassen haven't done it since Canada line. You used to have to get on a suburban bus downtown and take it to Ladner. Then if memory serves me correctly, way back you would have to change in Ladner to the 640 to get to the ferry. I used to go from my home in Burnaby to Scott Road because the 640 took you to the ferries without bus to bus transfer (the worst transfer). Then they introduced the 620 that also went to the ferries, but you had to take the 98 B line to the airport exchange. So if you were downtown it was a bit of a crap shoot. Do you take a 6xx and transfer to a possibly full 620 in Ladner, or do you take a packed 98 BLine to the airport and hope it makes it there in time for the transfer? Too many things could go wrong.

So much better since the Canada Line.
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  #47  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2014, 11:54 PM
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Another issue is BC Ferries likes to operate as a vacation tourism company at the same time as providing an essential service.
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  #48  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2014, 12:33 AM
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While the majority of the population in the lower mainland may live closer to Tsawwassen and it might be more accessible by transit.

If the traffic that goes through Horseshoe Bay was re-routed through Tsawwassen. I just dont think the current road system could handle that traffic. Even if they replaced the tunnel. It would put too much of a strain on other areas of our transportation system.

And I don't seem them shutting down Horseshoe Bay. Since it is needed for bowen island and longdale. They may shut down departure bay and route all ferries from Horseshoe bay to duke point. From there you could increase or decrease the frequency of the ferries from Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay. Depending on usage patterns.
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  #49  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2014, 3:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post


BC Ferries still operates the Queen of New Westminster on the Major routes, she was built in 1963. The Nanaimo, Burnaby, Powell River Queen, Bowen Queen, Mayne Queen and Tenaka were all laid down in 1964-65. Many other ships still operating the smaller routes were built in the 1970's, including the Queen of Alberni on the Duke Point run. The North Island Princess was built in 1958. Keep in mind, BC Ferries started operating in 1960.

Also, the major routes, which we seem to be talking about, aren't struggling. The top two routes make enough money to subsidize the rest of BC Ferries operations.

As well, the Coho carries 110 cars, and in winter will make 2 or 4 crossings a day. The Coastal ships carry 370, the Spirit ships 410, and between the Mainland and the Island tomorrow there will be 46 sailings from 6 ships (with extras on Friday). And that is just the 3 major routes.

Comparing Black Ball to BC Ferries is like comparing my etsy store to Amazon.

It like comparing a privately run company using a small (likely less efficient ship) that operates without a subsidy (hopfully making a profit for the family that owns the business) vrs. a major corporation with a yonger fleet that operates with a sizable government subsidy.
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  #50  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2014, 4:38 AM
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How bout this... scrap the vehicle runs to Horseshoe Bay, but start a foot passenger only service right into downtown Vancouver. There are plenty of boats that could do that run in less than an hour.
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  #51  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2014, 9:17 AM
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How bout this... scrap the vehicle runs to Horseshoe Bay, but start a foot passenger only service right into downtown Vancouver. There are plenty of boats that could do that run in less than an hour.
maybe we need some new fast cats?
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  #52  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2014, 1:11 PM
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A new Massey bridge and the SFPR will alleviate most of these concerns.

Nanaimo needing 2 terminals is laughable.
It's not about Naniamo needing two terminals. It's about the Island as a whole. Both the terminals are well used, even on week days.

The only way the rational makes sense to me, is if they close one terminal on each side to further increase the demand-supply ratio, which they could then use to justify even higher prices. I don't think they'll make or lose money in the long run by closing a terminal on each end, but i do think the resulting reduction in operating costs will lead to a higher profit margin.

The other side of this is that, even if you make all your runs on time, the Horseshoe-Departure Bay run is a significantly shorter route to Vancouver than the Duke Point-Tsawassen route. The crossing is 30 minutes shorter; and, if you are driving from any point north of Departure Bay on the island you save 15 - 45 minutes driving depending on traffic.
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  #53  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2014, 8:49 PM
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It's not about Naniamo needing two terminals. It's about the Island as a whole. Both the terminals are well used, even on week days.

The only way the rational makes sense to me, is if they close one terminal on each side to further increase the demand-supply ratio, which they could then use to justify even higher prices. I don't think they'll make or lose money in the long run by closing a terminal on each end, but i do think the resulting reduction in operating costs will lead to a higher profit margin.

The other side of this is that, even if you make all your runs on time, the Horseshoe-Departure Bay run is a significantly shorter route to Vancouver than the Duke Point-Tsawassen route. The crossing is 30 minutes shorter; and, if you are driving from any point north of Departure Bay on the island you save 15 - 45 minutes driving depending on traffic.
I believe the crossing time for a Horseshoe Bay to Duke Point run would be nearly identical to the current run to Departure Bay.

In the long term, I don't think it makes sense not to consolidate all Nanaimo ferry traffic to Duke Point.
Having a few hundred cars come off a ferry right next to downtown makes the traffic in that area a mess. There just isn't the road infrastructure to support it.

So upgrade the Duke Point terminal and maybe add an express bus service right to downtown if it doesn't exist already, and reroute the Horseshoe Bay run into Duke Point.

I really just don't think having two separate terminals relatively close together is justified when one could do the job without cutting any runs, and with significant cost savings.
By long term I'm talking 10-20 years though.
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  #54  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2014, 2:18 AM
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Originally Posted by aberdeen5698 View Post
I have this vague recollection that the Horseshoe Bay - Nanaimo route is subsidized by the Feds because it's considered to be part of the Trans Canada Highway. Or have I got that wrong?
Duh no, you may have but if so, so do I. I was saying exactly that to my DW the other day. I seem to remember WACy B or Flying Phil saying that back when I was a kid.

I can accept 2 Lower Mainland Nanaimo bound terminals, but on the Island, 2 terminals for Nanaimo is not cost effective. Closing one of them still allows a Tawassen (sp) boat to access Nanaimo.
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  #55  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2014, 9:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Procrastinational View Post
I believe the crossing time for a Horseshoe Bay to Duke Point run would be nearly identical to the current run to Departure Bay.

In the long term, I don't think it makes sense not to consolidate all Nanaimo ferry traffic to Duke Point.
Having a few hundred cars come off a ferry right next to downtown makes the traffic in that area a mess. There just isn't the road infrastructure to support it.

So upgrade the Duke Point terminal and maybe add an express bus service right to downtown if it doesn't exist already, and reroute the Horseshoe Bay run into Duke Point.

I really just don't think having two separate terminals relatively close together is justified when one could do the job without cutting any runs, and with significant cost savings.
By long term I'm talking 10-20 years though.
I think Horseshoe-Duke Point would be a good compromise. I think closing Horseshoe for Naniamo-bound crossings is insane though. Even with the single Island landing, I'd still use Horseshoe Bay whenever I'm empty, and Tsawassen when I'm towing.
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  #56  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2014, 11:57 PM
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Last edited by officedweller; Nov 11, 2014 at 12:11 AM.
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  #57  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2014, 2:39 AM
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Of interest - article on the new ferries:
I wonder which routes those are destined for. The specifications are similar to the Northern Expedition, and are smaller than the (former V-class) Queen vessels.
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  #58  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2014, 3:33 AM
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The article says which: Comox - Powell River, and Gulf Island runs.
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  #59  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2014, 5:02 AM
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It looks like a battleship. May as well put some guns on one of the decks. For logs and seals and whatnot.
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  #60  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2014, 6:15 AM
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This is what is wrong with BC Ferries.

You don't see Metro having to pay back the province for Evergreen or the Interior having to pay back the province for the HWY#1 upgrades. God forbid the wealthy people in Whistler have to pay back the province for their huge HWY#99 upgrade.

If BC Ferries cared about moving people and not just fare recovery they would add passenger only service from Nanaimo, Comox, and the Sunshine Coast directly to Waterfront.
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