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Pacific Ferries suspends service


Pacific Ferries suspended its foot-passenger service between Gibsons and Vancouver on Nov. 25, with the aim of starting back up in the spring.

The announcement was made via the company’s Facebook page and website.

“We expect to be back in service again in March of 2017,” deckhand Alex Combas wrote on the website.

“It is a bitter pill to swallow, as much for us who work here, as I am sure it is for you who rely on us to get you where you need to go, but we do have our reasons for this temporary closure.”

The reasons given for the sudden stoppage were reliability, as both of the company’s vessels need work, and the ongoing bad weather that has made sailing dangerous at times.

“Both boats need significant work, and it’s very hard to get that work done properly when you have the pressure of daily runs to deal with,” Combas wrote.

“So this time off will give us the breathing room we need to get some major things done.”

He said the bad weather and resulting cancelled sailings have also impacted the company financially, as it can’t make a profit when it can’t take passengers.

“Unfortunately we can’t really call this a business if we aren’t making any money, and in order to make money, we do need customers,” Combas noted. “But we are not closing down, we are regrouping,” he added.

“We’ve learned a lot in our first year, and we’ve worked really hard, but it is time for a little break. We are going to come back and take another swing at this in the spring, and we hope that you’ll all be there to join us.”

Customers on the company’s Facebook page were mixed in their response, with some praising the company for their efforts over the last 10 months and some chastising them for the lack of notice before suspending service.

Customers concerned about pre-paid funds that were put on Pacific Ferries cards were told they could be reimbursed if they didn’t want to leave the funds in place until the ferry company starts back up next year.

To get a refund, customers should mail in their passes to Pacific Ferries at 11480 – 209 St., Maple Ridge, B.C. V2X3M5 and a cheque will be sent back to them, Combas said.