Ferries enforcing three minute rule

  • Mar. 5, 2008 9:00 a.m.

The days are over when the Kwuna would reverse back to the dock to pick up late-running islanders who had missed the sailing by just a few seconds. Since early January, BC Ferries has been enforcing a new policy that all vehicles must be at the terminal at least three minutes before the scheduled sailing. Foot passengers must purchase their tickets at least five minutes before sailing time. BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said the change was made for safety reasons. In January 2007, a truck fell off the loading ramp for the ferry to Gabriola Island after the ferry pulled away. The driver jumped onto the pavement just before the truck plunged into the water. “What we want to do is ensure we’re allowing the staff sufficient time to do the proper clearance procedures,” she said. “We don’t feel that should be a huge inconvenience to customers, they should be at the terminal by that time anyway.” Ms Marshall said BC Ferries has received some complaints about the new policy, but expects the complaints will subside once people get used to it.