Greater Victoria Harbour Authority inks deal for cruise ship shuttle service

Wilson’s Transportation will lease B.C. Transit buses and train First Nations workers

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has signed a two-year deal with Wilson’s Transportation Ltd. to operate an Ogden Point shuttle service for the 2015 and 2016 cruise ship seasons.

Under the terms, Wilson’s will use leased B.C. Transit buses and work with GVHA to develop a program to engage members of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations in hiring, training and career development.

“Wilson’s is a strong partner to manage this critical service moving cruise ship passengers to downtown,” said GVHA’s interim CEO Rick Crosby

During this year’s cruise season, B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board will allow standees on B.C. Transit buses used for the shuttle service for the first time. This means that the number of buses required for cruise passengers will be either reduced or maintained during the season and passenger queues likely reduced, resulting in a more efficient service.

The two-year deal with Wilson’s covers the 2015 and 2016 cruise seasons and is renewable for up to three additional cruise seasons up until the end of the 2019 season at Ogden Point.

“The cruise ship shuttle provides a valuable link between Ogden Point and the downtown Victoria business district,” said John Wilson, CEO of Wilson’s Transportation. “With 20 minute service on an increasingly busy cruise ship schedule, working collaboratively with the local communities to ensure adequate routing and communication is key to overall success.”

Ogden Point is Canada’s most popular cruise ship port of call with 230 ship visits and more than 513,000 passengers expected in 2015.