Viewpoint: Ferry schedule lacks sense

No regular users of the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale ferry route would have said yes to a Friday afternoon schedule such as the current one. It is an abusive situation.

On September 8, I arrived at Horseshoe Bay for the 4:30 pm ferry to Langdale 80 minutes before sailing time. I was stopped outside the tollbooth with many others facing news that we would have to wait for the 5:50 pm ferry, a three-hour wait.

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We were forced to sit in our cars, unable to leave for almost two hours while sitting outside the terminal. A small bathroom was hundreds of yards away and no water or food was available. I watched people with children and pets trying to manage this intolerable situation.

On a previous trip from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, I arrived 40 minutes early for the first ferry to see a “possible wait” sign. More than 100 of us were not boarded and had to wait for the 9:40 am ferry, another three-hour wait.

We have a two-tiered system and BC Ferries 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 include putting a schedule in place that works for users, letting ferry users have a legitimate say in the schedule and putting a reservation system in place for all ferries at no extra cost. Provincial government, are you listening? I heard nothing about ferries in the throne speech.

A free reservation system is used on the Gulf Island ferries and for all Washington State ferries. No guessing, no sitting for endless hours. We would not have to play ferry roulette.

Gale Tyler is a resident of Halfmoon Bay on the Sunshine Coast.

Copyright © 2017 Powell River Peak

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