A four-sailing wait on Oct.19 at the BC Ferries Swartz Bay Terminal. (Hugo Wong/News staff)

BC Ferries predicts potential travel trends for 2020

With more than 22 million travellers in 2018, infrastructure looks at accommodating ride-sharing

With a record-breaking year of vehicle traffic behind them, BC Ferries is looking toward the future and their near-record breaking amount of overall passengers boarding their vessels.

More than 22 million passengers sailed on BC Ferries ships in fiscal 2018, reaching a 20-year high.

While more than 8.7 million vehicles also made the voyage, it’s the increasing foot passengers BC Ferries has its eye on.

“We almost hit our record number ever of passengers, just not quite. We might hit it this year, we’ll see,” BC Ferries President and CEO Mark Collins said. “Certainly, traffic is approaching historic highs for the ferry system.”

He said the surge in passengers is partly because of the fare freezes, economy and lower fuel prices encouraging more travel, but increasing popularity of ride-hailing apps could also be the cause.

While Uber is not yet offered in Vancouver or Victoria, apps such as Zipcar are named in BC Ferries’ Performance Term Five Submission to the Commissioner, which would begin in 2020. The company anticipates there will be more walk-on passengers than those travelling by vehicle if they’re using ride-sharing apps to and from the terminals, but not taking them onboard.

READ MORE: UBER Eats food delivery launches in Greater Victoria

“We look down the road at trends, development and the economy, technology and things like that to make sure we’re considering everything that could influence our infrastructure decisions. Ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles are two emerging trends which we’re watching very carefully. I can’t say for sure where they’re going to go, but what we can see is one possibility is that people may move more and more over to ride-hailing services and autonomous vehicles and own fewer cars,” Collins said.

“It’s a possibility, then that could have big implications for the ferry system.”

BC Ferries models such scenarios drawing up potential accommodations. In Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen terminals, Collins said that could include more waiting areas with more refreshment services and seating, different check-in systems, and potentially more green space.

“Where do those cars go when they’re dropping people off? Will there need to be smart technology on the terminals to facilitate the movement of driverless vehicles? All of these things have a big impact on our infrastructure, so we spend some time thinking about those possible futures,” Collins said. “There’s always some waiting associated with getting on the ferry because you have to wait for it to dock, walk on board and things like that, so we want to do what we can to make it more pleasant for the travellers.”

READ MORE: Debit now accepted onboard BC Ferries


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Rifflandia Festival cancelled for 2019

Early Bird tickets can be refunded at point of purchase, or held and redeemed for 2020

Five-month bridge closure poses early impacts on drivers during rush hour

Construction began Tuesday on the crossing commonly known as the Bay Street bridge

New virgin queen headlines ‘Bee Day’ at Saanich sanctuary

Taste bee spit and check out the hive at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary this Sunday

Mom who lost son to brain tumour in March joins the 24th annual Brain Tumour Walk

The Brain Tumour Walk takes place at the University of Victoria on Sunday, May 26

Several hundred SD 62 students team up to clean the shoreline

Effort aimed at keeping Esquimalt and Albert Head Lagoon trash-free

VIDEO: Canadian, U.S. Coast guards run oil spill response drills

20 vessels were on the water to practice international response methods

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses judicial review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Young Victoria distillery earns prestigious Scotch awards

Scottish influences range from techniques to ‘kilted tours’ at award-winning business

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Most Read