It appears that BC Ferries intends to go ahead with additional upgrades to the Langdale ferry terminal, following the announcement of $17-million in federal funding for a new terminal building through the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – National and Regional Projects (PTIC-NRP).
New BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins and West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones held a press conference at Langdale on March 31 to announce federal funding for three BC Ferries projects, including the Langdale renovation and construction of a new ferry for the Texada-Powell River route.
Collins said the federal money will cover 20 per cent of the cost of the terminal project, which includes a new terminal building, a covered overhead foot passenger walkway, a “seaside pavilion”, and new ticket booths that will allow BC Ferries to charge passengers travelling in both directions. It is similar to a master plan for the terminal developed in 2013.
But BC Ferries will still have to raise the remaining money for the project, and it is not clear what the provincial government’s plans are.
The provincial Liberal government recently spent $250,000 on a feasibility study for a fixed link between the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver to replace the ferry service. In October, 2016, over 1,200 people attended five fixed link open houses in Squamish, West Vancouver and on the Sunshine Coast. A final technical report by the civil engineering firm R.F. Binnie and Associates was due to have been finished by year end, but has not been released.
Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons, who was not invited to speak at the March 31 press conference, issued his own press release in which he said that the terminal improvements and new vessel are a step in the right direction, but fares and scheduling need to be addressed.
“Ultimately, ferries are our essential transportation links, and need to be made more affordable, especially as services have been reduced and fares have gone up tremendously,” said the NDP MLA. Donna McMahon