The Sunshine Coast’s new passenger ferry is promising early morning runs into Horseshoe Bay, and at a reduced price—but only if enough people register on its website by the end of February.
“We’re working toward doing it March 1st,” Linda Feuerhelm, of Pacific Ferries told the Local. “You can register online at PacificFerries.ca. We’re taking a $25 roundtrip—our normal price—and reducing it 20 per cent and giving it to commuters for $20.”
Feuerhelm said that those who register for a Weekly Commuter Pass before Feb. 29 will also get that same lower fare through March and April.
“We’re offering a 6:30 in the morning run that would drop you into Horseshoe Bay at 7am,” said Feurhelm. “Another one that people were demanding was a 7:30. It would get them right into Horseshoe Bay at 8am. They can connect with their buses and away they go.”
Pacific Ferries launched its 25-30 minute service on the 46-passenger “Coastal Clipper” on Jan. 27 with three afternoon-only trips from Horseshoe Bay to Gibsons Landing. But just one of them—the 5:10 pm—has been viable, so the other two were dropped.
“We cancelled the 3pm run because we had four very dedicated people that came on every single run [at $15 each], but $60 doesn’t pay the bills.”
A 6:25pm scheduled run was also abandoned, but could be reinstated at the end of March, possibly at a new time of 6:45, if overall business picks up.
“We’re trying to get the ridership up to make sure we have the ability to sustain these runs,” she said.
Key to the morning strategy were two factors, moorage for the vessel and parking for passengers. The Gibsons Landing Harbour Authority came through with moorage starting Mar. 1 at a yet-to-be-announced spot in the harbour, and the Town of Gibsons responded by making a map of free parking spaces available to the company, which has since been widely posted online.
Feuerhelm told Gibsons Council Feb. 16 that Pacific Ferries is grateful for all the help and encouragement from the Town and residents, but that if the fledgling company doesn’t get more steady business, it won’t be able to keep the operating past June.