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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2014, 2:46 AM
casper casper is offline
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BC Ferries

I did not see a discussion of BC Ferries anywhere. I have a simple question.

Do we see a future for building Ferries in BC anymore.

Latest batch of clean LNG based Ferries will be built in Poland.
http://www.bcferries.com/files/About...ss_Ferries.pdf

For a province that wants to create an LNG based industry, it would be have been go to develop some cryogenics engineering capabilities on smaller projects leading up to the big projects.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2014, 2:53 AM
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Washington State Comparison

Interesting comparison being made between the BC and Washington State systems...

http://www.bcferries.com/files/About...CF_and_WSF.pdf
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2014, 2:24 PM
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240glt 240glt is offline
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After that last fiasco I'm not sure sure that ratepayers in BC are all that interested in financing construction of new vessels

For the inland ferries, they'll continue to build them locally.. I believe the Balfour is due for replacement on Kootenay lake, they'll likely build the new one at the dry dock just east of Nelson
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  #4  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2014, 7:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casper View Post
I did not see a discussion of BC Ferries anywhere. I have a simple question.

Do we see a future for building Ferries in BC anymore.

Latest batch of clean LNG based Ferries will be built in Poland.
http://www.bcferries.com/files/About...ss_Ferries.pdf

For a province that wants to create an LNG based industry, it would be have been go to develop some cryogenics engineering capabilities on smaller projects leading up to the big projects.
Well, I have few thoughts on the subject:

1. I believe in tendering out large shipbuilding contracts and selecting the most competitive bidder. (Navy is of course different due to security)

2. Currently there are no competitive shipbuilding companies for large vessel programs on the BC coast. Last ones I guess were Allied and Yarrows who built the S-class ferries (HWY 17 vessels) in the early 90s. I read Allied has just changed hands and may be in growth mode??

3. The federal shipbuilding contract should make Seaspan's Vancouver & Victoria shipyards much more competitive in bidding for future ferry work - with all the infrastructure/equipment upgrades and expanded shipbuilding trades training ongoing now. They are already competitive with building small vessels (like the design-build of 6 Orca Class training vessels for the Navy in Victoria recently) and very competitive with refits and repairs with their large dry dock facilities.

The Feds, just a few days ago, reaffirmed that the $8B (7 - Navy) non-combat vessel contract with Seaspan is going ahead. That will require an additional 4,000 tradespeople at Seaspan for over 8 years. The non-combat vessel contract was expanded in 2013 (options) to add 10 vessels for the Coast Guard worth an additional $3.3B and another 1,000 workers.

So Seaspan now has over $11 billion in shipbuilding contracts on the books. Construction of the Coast Guard vessels was scheduled to start this month.

This is the largest vessel they are contracted to build for the Royal Canadian Navy - two JSS (Joint Support Ship):



image Canadian Royal Navy

This is the largest vessel they will build for the Coast Guard - 1 Polar Icebreaker:



image VARD Marine
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Last edited by craneSpotter; Oct 29, 2014 at 4:50 AM.
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  #5  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2014, 7:27 PM
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Here is a shot of Victoria shipyards courtesy of Seaspan. They also have a floating drydock.



Floating drydock:



image glaciermedia
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 1:27 AM
casper casper is offline
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My understanding is Seaspan is going slow due to cashflow from the feds.

Would have been nice to see some diversity in the industry.
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2014, 4:54 PM
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My understanding is Seaspan is going slow due to cashflow from the feds.

Would have been nice to see some diversity in the industry.
How do you mean, slowdown? Seaspan is fairly diversified - shipbuilding is just part of their operations. Anyway they are hiring and laid blocks for the first Coast Guard ship.

The federal contracts should help bring their equipment and operations up to a global level.
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2014, 5:07 PM
casper casper is offline
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Originally Posted by craneSpotter View Post
How do you mean, slowdown? Seaspan is fairly diversified - shipbuilding is just part of their operations. Anyway they are hiring and laid blocks for the first Coast Guard ship.

The federal contracts should help bring their equipment and operations up to a global level.
I appreciate ship building is just a part of what seaspan does. They are quite diversified.

Rumour on the street is the feeds had been slowing the ship building project down and stretching It out some. Helps balance the budget this year but at the cost of driving up the cost of the project

What would be good is to see is another "seaspan" emerge. I don't know perhaps the industry is so international these days that all we can hope for is a single major industrial ship builder on the west coast.

It is an industry that high wage economies (e.g., Japan, Germany, France, Norway) are able to sustain.
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2014, 3:20 AM
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What would be good is to see is another "seaspan" emerge. I don't know perhaps the industry is so international these days that all we can hope for is a single major industrial ship builder on the west coast.

It is an industry that high wage economies (e.g., Japan, Germany, France, Norway) are able to sustain.
Absolutely! I hope Allied grows as a result. Into a competitor
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2015, 7:03 AM
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How is remotely fair? I am somewhat tired of the entire country subsidizing so much out east, yet the west gets little for comparable items. (unless we're speaking oil and gas).

Stephen Hume: A tale of two coasts
The Marine Atlantic ferry Atlantic Visions serves the Nova Scotia to Newfoundland route. Marine Atlantic’s federal subsidy works out to $493 per passenger, compared to $1.41 per BC Ferries passenger. But there is a constitutional requirement for Ottawa to provide freight services from the mainland to the island of Newfoundland.

Atlantic Canada’s ferry passengers get 350 times the federal subsidies that ferry passengers in B.C. receive, a study prepared for the Union of B.C. Municipalities finds.

Federal funding for West Coast ferries relative to East Coast ferries shows that Marine Atlantic is subsidized $493 per passenger. BC Ferries’ federal subsidy is $1.41 per passenger, the analysis notes. Ferry travellers here get about 0.2 per cent of the federal financial support counterparts on the Atlantic get, although ferry use here is 20 times greater.

Transport Canada says Atlantic subsidies are driven by constitutional requirements. West Coast subsidies are set by a 1977 agreement with B.C. But B.C.’s population has since doubled. It’s now twice that of all Atlantic Canada. Vancouver Island’s population is 48 per cent larger than Newfoundland’s.

John Weston, Conservative MP for the Sunshine Coast region, argues BC Ferries is under provincial jurisdiction and Ottawa shouldn’t interfere.

Jim Abram, chair of the Strathcona Regional District, calls the federal contribution to West Coast ferries “paltry.”

“Our coastal and provincial communities are continuing to suffer to the point of having to leave their homes and close their businesses due to the fact that they cannot afford the outrageous fares to ride the ferry, which is nothing more than our bus on the Marine Highway.”

Demanding more federal support for BC Ferries doesn’t mean Atlantic Canada deserves less, says Abram. Fairness means Ottawa should contribute more to B.C.’s system, which it acknowledges is part of the highway system.

“We’re all tied together by a transcontinental highway. Mile Zero for the Trans-Canada Highway is in Victoria, which happens to be on Vancouver Island,” Abrams says.

UBCM’s study analyses the effect of the provincial policy that recovers more than 80 per cent of operating costs from ferry users by raising fares.

Both the province and BC Ferries’ passengers have substantially increased contributions — the provincial subsidy increased 68 per cent since 2003 to $154.4 million annually. But fares have increased steeply. Passengers now contribute $500 million a year in fares. Over the same period, the federal contribution increased by a scant 18.3 per cent to $28.4 million annually.

Critics claim the policy of recovering costs from skyrocketing fares has damaged the economy of a region representing about 22 per cent of B.C.’s tourism market and generating about $50 billion in provincial GDP annually.

Over the past decade of fare increases, ferry ridership in B.C. has steadily declined by about 11 per cent — cumulatively that’s roughly 26 million fewer trips — and so has the spinoff economic activity they represent. Think of it as 26 million fewer diners, shoppers, skiers, B.C. Lions fans, theatre-goers and so on.

On average, domestic overnight and same day ferry travellers spend about $132 a trip, the UBCM analysis found. It estimates the cost of declining ferry traffic at about $1.8 billion a year in lost economic activity.

Gross economic losses from forgone passenger-related expenditures were pegged at $2.3 billion. Tax revenues lost to all levels of government amounted to $600 million.

These are big numbers for governments that constantly cry poverty. Many small coastal communities say the effect has been crushing.

Citizens might reasonably ask why federal MPs are so ineffectual in advocating for their provincial constituents since they include heavyweights like Industry Minister James Moore, Conservative whip John Duncan from Vancouver Island and Alice Wong, minister of state responsible for the seniors for recently lost the privilege of free mid-week travel on BC Ferries.

Why such vast regional differences in funding for this vital part of B.C.’s economic infrastructure?

And where’s the province? Why isn’t it demanding comparable federal support for maritime infrastructure?

Back in 1992, when NDP Premier Mike Harcourt overlooked B.C.’s interests in the distribution of senate seats during the Charlottetown constitutional meetings, he was tagged “Premier Bonehead.” The perception that he cared little and knew less about matters of vital interest to B.C. contributed to his early departure.

Premier Christy Clark risks being remembered as Premier Bonehead II. Look, there’s a federal election coming. Times change. Smart politicians change with them. She should be advocating loudly for federal equity in ferry funding.

shume@islandnet.com
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2015, 11:19 PM
casper casper is offline
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Originally Posted by SOSS View Post
Federal funding for West Coast ferries relative to East Coast ferries shows that Marine Atlantic is subsidized $493 per passenger. BC Ferries’ federal subsidy is $1.41 per passenger, the analysis notes. Ferry travellers here get about 0.2 per cent of the federal financial support counterparts on the Atlantic get, although ferry use here is 20 times greater.

Transport Canada says Atlantic subsidies are driven by constitutional requirements. West Coast subsidies are set by a 1977 agreement with B.C. But B.C.’s population has since doubled. It’s now twice that of all Atlantic Canada. Vancouver Island’s population is 48 per cent larger than Newfoundland’s.

John Weston, Conservative MP for the Sunshine Coast region, argues BC Ferries is under provincial jurisdiction and Ottawa shouldn’t interfere.

Jim Abram, chair of the Strathcona Regional District, calls the federal contribution to West Coast ferries “paltry.”

“Our coastal and provincial communities are continuing to suffer to the point of having to leave their homes and close their businesses due to the fact that they cannot afford the outrageous fares to ride the ferry, which is nothing more than our bus on the Marine Highway.”

Demanding more federal support for BC Ferries doesn’t mean Atlantic Canada deserves less, says Abram. Fairness means Ottawa should contribute more to B.C.’s system, which it acknowledges is part of the highway system.

“We’re all tied together by a transcontinental highway. Mile Zero for the Trans-Canada Highway is in Victoria, which happens to be on Vancouver Island,” Abrams says.

....
shume@islandnet.com
I would agree that inter-provincial transport is a federal responsibility. I think it subject to federal labour and environmental laws. The same applies to railways and trucking companies.

IF you leave aside who is responsible for providing the service I would agree if the feds are subsidising the server on the east coast it should do the same on the west coast.
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  #12  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2015, 2:37 AM
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I would agree that inter-provincial transport is a federal responsibility. I think it subject to federal labour and environmental laws. The same applies to railways and trucking companies.

IF you leave aside who is responsible for providing the service I would agree if the feds are subsidising the server on the east coast it should do the same on the west coast.
A ferry to VI takes about 2 hours. A ferry to NL takes about 12 hours. The NL ferry has less traffic too.
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  #13  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2015, 2:50 AM
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How much of the ridership decline on the west coast is due to competition from West Jet?
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  #14  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2015, 3:24 AM
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How much of the ridership decline on the west coast is due to competition from West Jet?
I would suggest very very little.... it is only recently that Westjet flew from YYJ to YVR at all. Westjet remains cumbersome to travel to Vancouver( not much faster when you take all the time in account) and not that efficient.

I would say more ridership has been impacted by Helijet and Harbour air. Atleast these options are downtown to downtown. I know this is how my mom travels when she has to go meet ministers and government officials in Vancouver.
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  #15  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2015, 3:32 AM
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I would say more ridership has been impacted by Helijet and Harbour air. Atleast these options are downtown to downtown.
Definitely. Including transit, downtown to downtown by BC Ferries can be as much as a three hour trip. When you are spending close to 20 bucks just to catch the ferry alone (not including transit or possibly food on the ferry), spending 60-80 dollars to do the trip in 25 minutes becomes pretty appealing if you actually value your time.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2015, 5:39 AM
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Definitely. Including transit, downtown to downtown by BC Ferries can be as much as a three hour trip. When you are spending close to 20 bucks just to catch the ferry alone (not including transit or possibly food on the ferry), spending 60-80 dollars to do the trip in 25 minutes becomes pretty appealing if you actually value your time.
Big reason I'm a big proponent of a no-frills passenger only ferry servicing DT Vic to DT Van run through BC Ferries.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2015, 7:29 AM
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Big reason I'm a big proponent of a no-frills passenger only ferry servicing DT Vic to DT Van run through BC Ferries.
It is too bad that Translink does not expand the WCE to bring rail to Horseshoe Bay and Tsawwassen Ferry Terminals.

On the Victoria end, the express bus is actually pretty fast.

Some forward thinking is needed.
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  #18  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2015, 8:20 PM
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It is too bad that Translink does not expand the WCE to bring rail to Horseshoe Bay and Tsawwassen Ferry Terminals.

On the Victoria end, the express bus is actually pretty fast.

Some forward thinking is needed.
Given the capacity crunches to the super port already, the cost would be ruinous for Tsawwassen. For Horseshoe, how much backtracking would be needed? I doubt would be competitive in time with a bus.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2015, 11:05 PM
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Given the capacity crunches to the super port already, the cost would be ruinous for Tsawwassen. For Horseshoe, how much backtracking would be needed? I doubt would be competitive in time with a bus.
For the south route, double track would be the real solution. In the interim, running the mix of trains would be a start. The owner of the line and Translink would see the need for double track and it would get done.

How would the northern line be backtracking?
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Old Posted Dec 9, 2015, 6:09 AM
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I ended up doing the Schwartz Bay to Tawwasen trip on Monday.

I was planning to stop for breakfast and then get on the 11:00 sailing. Driving out heard the news the 9:00 was full, and the overflow almost filled the 11:00. Scrapped the plan to stop for breakfast and arrived just before 9:00 for an 11:00 sailing.

What is a weird about all of this. The 11:00 sailing is a traditionally under sold sailing, it is one of the ones that BC Ferries is offering 50% the regular vehicle charge.

Not certain this is representative but I get the impression these "sale priced" sailings are doing very well and over selling. Clearly they still have some work to do to get a proper yield management system in place where they can adjust prices to maximize the return by charging less. Has anyone else experienced the same thing?
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