BC Ferries is making changes to its phone information system as a result of complaints from islanders, says Queen Charlotte mayor Carol Kulesha.
Ms Kulesha, who attended a BC Ferries advisory committee meeting last week, told Queen Charlotte council Monday night (March 19) that she raised several issues about the information system.
Since BC Ferries centralized its reservation system at the end of January, islanders have been unable to phone the Skidegate terminal for a quick update on where the ferry is and when it’s expected to sail.
Ms Kulesha said BC Ferries employees have already made changes to the website to give more frequent updates on the northern routes, and have promised that the phone system will improve.
“I was able to bring these things directly to BC Ferries and they have already started acting on the issues,” she said.
However, a council member and a member of the public both told the meeting that problems continue.
Councillor Greg Martin said it took a long time to get any information when he phoned BC Ferries Sunday night to check on the Queen of Prince Rupert’s schedule. When he phoned again Monday morning, he couldn’t get through to anyone.
“The old system we had was lower techÂ… and it worked better,” Mr. Martin said, reminding everyone how easy it had been to call 4485 and listen to a frequently-updated message with the latest schedule information. “If they still have that answering machine in the dumpster, they should fish it out.”
Queen Charlotte resident Keith Moore agreed. BC Ferries doesn’t need to make changes to the new information system, he said – it simply needs to go back to the old system, which worked perfectly well.
Giving out information through the website is no help at all to travellers who are waiting for the ferry in Prince Rupert or other off-island locations, he added.
Ms Kulesha said she will continue to raise these issues with BC Ferries, but she needs to hear exactly what problems people are having. You can tell her your story by calling the Queen Charlotte village office at 559-4765.
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