Today (Friday, Sept. 8, at 2:50 pm) I arrived at Horseshoe Bay early for the 4:30 ferry to Langdale, 100 minutes before sailing time. I was stopped outside the toll booth, with many others, facing a “Full” sign, and the news I would have to wait for the 5:50 ferry. A three-hour wait. At 4:40 I was allowed into the terminal. Obviously, many others inside the terminal had not got on, as I was in row 8.
No regular users of this ferry route would have said yes to a Friday afternoon schedule like this one. This is an abusive situation. Forced to sit in our cars for hours, unable to leave for almost two hours sitting outside the terminal, a small bathroom hundreds of yards away and no water or food available. I watched people with children and pets trying to manage this intolerable situation.
My previous trip from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, I arrived 40 minutes early for the first ferry, to see a “Possible Wait” sign. Well over 100 of us were not boarded and had to wait for the 9:40. Again, a three-hour wait for the ferry.
We have a two-tiered system and the Ferry Corporation is pocketing untold amounts of money for doing nothing except forcing people faced with ridiculous schedules, and hours of waiting, to reserve.
I have tried every avenue to find out what percentage is reserved and the best I get is, “it depends.” After that, it is like listening to a version of the comedy sketch, Who’s on First.
Remedies the Ferry Corporation should make that will serve ferry users (Government, are you listening? I heard nothing about ferries in the throne speech):
First, put in place a schedule that works for users, let ferry users have a real legitimate say in the schedule;
Second, put in place a reservation system for all ferries. At no extra cost. A free reservation system is used on the BC Gulf Island ferries and for all Washington State Ferries. No guessing, no sitting for endless hours. We would not have to play ferry roulette.