Vehicle and foot passenger traffic on the Langdale-Horseshoe Bay route increased last weekend after taking a deep dive the week before, when non-essential travel restrictions were introduced by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.
From April 30 to May 2, traffic was up 20.6 per cent compared with the weekend prior, and there were no incidents at the Route 3 terminals, according to BC Ferries public affairs executive director Deborah Marshall.
Farnworth made the travel restriction announcement Friday, April 23.
On the weekend following the announcement, vehicle traffic was down 33 per cent and foot-passenger traffic was down 38 per cent compared to the previous weekend (April 16-18). Compared with that April 16 weekend, from April 30 to May 2 vehicle traffic was down 19 per cent and foot-passenger traffic was down 26 per cent.
Under the order, unless travelling for essential reasons people must stay within three regional zones, the combined Northern and Interior Health, the combined VCH and Fraser Health, and Vancouver Island regions, until May 25.
While discouraged by Farnworth and public health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, non-essential travel is still allowed on Route 3, since the crossing from Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast doesn’t traverse those regional zone boundaries.
“We are reminding all customers travelling on Route 3 that they should be avoiding non-essential travel at this time,” Marshall told Coast Reporter.
Ferry traffic remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
Marshall said traffic was down 40 per cent for vehicles and 58 per cent for foot passengers last weekend compared with a similar weekend in 2019.
– with files from Jane Seyd