BC Ferries (BCF) will try to find ways to improve the on-time performance of Route 3 between Langdale and Horseshoe Bay before taking “a hard look at schedules,” BCF public affairs manager Darin Guenette said Wednesday.
“We’ve identified that there are procedures like the loading and unloading of foot passengers at Langdale that take a lot of time because of the nature of the operation and safety, and we’re reviewing and looking at ways of making that more efficient, if there are any,” Guenette said.
“We’re also looking at how the three routes that use Horseshoe Bay are interacting — and again efficiencies — and we’ve been looking at this for a while,” he said. “If we realize that we don’t know that there’s anything else we can do to be more efficient in our procedures like that without compromising safety, then we’re going to have to take a hard look at schedules.”
Reporting at Gibsons council on the recent Route 3 ferry advisory committee (FAC) meeting, Coun. Lee Ann Johnson said BCF officials said Route 3 had the second-worst on-time performance in the fleet.
Guenette said he could not confirm that statistic because he was on the road, but acknowledged “Route 3 and 2 [Departure Bay route] have had some difficulty with on-time performance in recent months, yes.”
He also conceded that BCF had been “getting some complaints about the stretched Sunday morning schedule” for Route 3.
On April 28, as part of a cost-cutting move affecting 16 coastal routes, BCF implemented a reduced Sunday schedule for Route 3 by eliminating one round trip and spreading out the remaining sailings for the early part of the day.
The summer schedule resumes on June 25, Guenette noted, “so this means two more Sundays with seven round trips and then an increase to eight round trips starting on June 29.”
Under the current plan, sailings will again be reduced to seven round trips after Labour Day.
Guenette said BCF would also work in a “small sub-committee format” with key members of the Route 3 FAC, who “have a walk-around coming up” in Langdale to observe procedures and suggest measures for improvement.
© Coast Reporter