Redo reservation system


Isn’t it time to seriously consider designing a vehicle reservations system as a primary demand management strategy for our BC Ferries? This is a system successfully in place in Washington state since 2009. Users reserve at no extra cost. Every sailing leaves 10 per cent capacity open for standby and emergency needs. 

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The objective of the Washington State Ferries system “is to operate a high-quality service, without the expense of expanding terminal facilities, by encouraging customers to travel on sailings that are currently underutilized.” 

On the WSF website is a list of the benefits of their system. 

• Reducing or eliminating traffic congestion on roads leading to terminals. 

• Providing predictable and convenient travel. 

• Increasing business in ferry served communities. 

• Reducing air pollution from idling vehicles. 

• Saving money by avoiding terminal expansion and/or added service. 

• Reducing traffic control costs and holding area maintenance costs.

I would add, certainty for users to get on a scheduled ferry instead the present crapshoot. B.C.’s ferries now have a reputation that increasingly deters people from travelling on them. I know I am one of these people. Tourists, too, are looking for B.C. destinations that don’t include a ferry. 

When the ferry fare includes a reservation, as it does in Washington state, your odds and choices are clear. Things need to change. Government money is scarce. Washington State Ferries improved service and saved money by designing and implementing a successful customer-friendly reservation system that works. 

Time for a change to a system that works. 

If you are curious, this is the link to the WSF reservation system Q and A. 

Gale Tyler, Halfmoon Bay

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