BC Ferries has completed analysis of a foot passenger loading trial conducted on the Langdale-Horseshoe Bay route from July 12-18.
The trial saw passengers walk on vessels after the vehicles had loaded, which is a change to the usual practice of loading passengers both before vehicles have boarded and again afterwards. The intent of the trial was to determine if this ‘end-of-load’ method would save time and contribute to improved loading times for the vessels, as BC Ferries is working to improve its on-time performance on this route.
The trial demonstrated significant time savings could be found, however, the savings did not come from where they were expected. As part of this trial, crews increased space between vehicles to allow freer passage for foot passengers. Allowing more space between vehicles results in a much quicker total loading time, and permits the vessel to keep on schedule. This practice is called express loading.
As a result, BC Ferries will not use the end-of-load method for foot passengers in the future, but will use express loading selectively to get back on schedule after delays.
One other measure found effective during the trial was for crew members to encourage foot passengers to proceed promptly to the unloading area. BC Ferries appreciates customers helping keep the ship on schedule by moving to unloading areas early in preparation for disembarking.