In the first 21 days of its public engagement process with the Sunshine Coast and Bowen Island, BC Ferries received an above average response rate of 11 per cent, or 3,200 responses, through an online survey regarding schedule preferences. BC Ferries is also hosting stakeholder interviews, community workshops, scheduled events, and engagement opportunities in the community and at Horseshoe Bay and Langdale terminals to directly open a dialogue with community members. The engagement process has extended from Bowen Island to the southern Sunshine Coast up to Powell River.
“We are pleased to be hearing from so many members of the Sunshine Coast, Powell River and Bowen Island communities,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO. “We care about the reliability of sailing times for these communities and the effect it has on our customers’ lives. We are working hard to respond, where we can, to the themes that are emerging, and have been adjusting our engagement approach based on feedback we’ve already received.”
Although only midway through the engagement process, some recurring themes have emerged from the feedback, such as the desire for hourly service on the Langdale route and improved reliability of sailing times, as well as the importance of commuter and school sailing times to communities.
“We know the hourly service on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route this spring was very well received and understand our customers’ desire for this service. One of our long-term priorities is working on terminal infrastructure and vessel changes that will help us deliver better service to this route, but that option is several years away from being possible,” says Collins. “At the moment we don’t have the appropriate vessels and the right terminal infrastructure to support hourly service on an ongoing basis.” Submitted